James Collins explains what West Ham ‘need’ to do to improve

Collins is keen to see the Hammers start picking up more clean sheets.

Speaking to the official West Ham website, central defender Collins admitted that the Hammers need to start picking up more clean sheets as the season draws to a close.

The Welsh international said: “We need a clean sheet to give us the base to go on and win and that's the same in any game. Clean sheets are vital in any game and we haven't had one for a while, so to get back on track with five games to go would be nice on Saturday.”

The Hammers have kept just six clean sheets this term, which is far removed from their impressive tally of 14 from the last campaign.

At the beginning of the season, it was more acceptable for Sam Allardyce’s men to concede more goals, as there was a clear change in style to a more progressive, attacking football. This meant more goals were conceded, but that was overcome with the amount the East London club were netting at the correct end of the pitch.

Yet, in 2015, form has dropped off, and although they have attempted to keep up with playing the attacking football, there has been a distinct change to a long-ball style, and goals have not been forthcoming.

Yet, they have still been conceding goals on a regular basis, and on current form it would not be a surprise to see them register a higher-tally of goals against than they did last season; they are currently on 42 against, compared with last term’s 51.

Collins has admitted that the club are working on improving this clean sheet tally, and that suggests a worrying change in system to an all-out defensive style. Rather than staying progressive, it would be no surprise to see Allardyce revert to his typical reserved style, and that may just cost him his job as the club look to usher in a new era of attractive and attacking football at the Boleyn Ground.

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