Garth Crooks hails 'no-nonsense' James Collins, also praises 'dependable' Aaron Cresswell

BBC pundit Garth Crooks has praised West Ham duo James Collins and Aaron Cresswell.

Garth Crooks has heaped praise on West Ham duo James Collins and Aaron Cresswell in his weekly Team of the Week column for the BBC.

West Ham played out what was looking like a dour 0-0 draw with Sunderland, before striker Diafra Sakho handed the Hammers a dramatic late win.

Prior to that victory, Sam Allardyce's men had won just one of the previous 12 games, piling pressure on the West Ham boss with his contract set to expire at the end of the season.

It was far from a vintage display from the Hammers, but two players have been singled out by BBC pundit Crooks for his Team of the Week.

Firstly, Crooks picked James Collins as one of his centre backs, with the Welshman starting the game in the absence of injured defenders James Tomkins and Winston Reid - and Crooks credited Collins for West Ham's clean sheet against Sunderland.

"Apart from the one moment when Jermain Defoe got in on goal I cannot remember when Sunderland had a sniff of a chance. Much of that was down to the no-nonsense Wales defender's presence at the heart of the Hammers defence," said Crooks.

Another Hammer made it into the defence, with left back Aaron Cresswell again impressing in what has been a consistent debut season since his move from Ipswich; prompting Crooks to label the 25-year-old as a dependable defender already.

"Under the tutelage of Hammers boss Sam Allardyce, this lad has matured from the player they signed from Ipswich for £2m last summer to a dependable Premier League defender. And he is not afraid to venture into the opposition penalty area. A few more goals would not go amiss but things take time," he added, giving Cresswell an area to improve upon.

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