Sullivan hails 'outstanding' West Ham defender James Collins

West Ham Upton Park

West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan has hailed the performance of James Collins against Sunderland.

West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan has hailed the performance of James Collins against Sunderland via the club's official website.

The centre-back's partnership with Cheikou Kouyate was the based for a clean sheet in a 1-0 win over the Black Cats, with key defender Winston Reid out injured.

The 31-year-old was also picked in Garth Crooks' BBC Team of the week for his display, along with left-back Aaron Cresswell.

Sullivan said: "I also thought we defended very well. Collins was outstanding and Kouyate did well considering he was out of position. We need to get back in the habit of keeping clean sheets again and hopefully Saturday can be the start of a lean period for opposing strikers."

Collins made an impressive 19 successful clearances in the match against Sunderland, winning four aerial duels.

His approach to lump it forward rather than play from the back may not be pretty, but it was effective, and at the moment West Ham need results.

The Welshman was making his 14th start of the season and third in a row, having missed a period of matches with injury at the start of the year.

The win was only their second league victory in 2015, and eases the pressure on manager Sam Allardyce, with the club sitting in ninth in the table heading into the international break.

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