Slaven Bilic has said to the Daily Mirror that he told West Ham United defender James Collins that it is privilege to have him at Upton Park, after the centre-back put in an excellent display against Swansea City.
Collins was recalled to the Hammers’ starting line up at the Liberty Stadium, and the Welsh international did not put a foot wrong as he helped his team pick up a 0-0 draw.
The 33-year-old was robust and combative at the back, and Bilic sung the praises of the experienced defender after the match.
“I thought Collins was immense,” the Croatian boss said. “I told him it is a big privilege for me to work with him and have him in my team.
“He is experienced. Sometimes he was on the bench, sometimes a sub but other times he has started and he has always been brilliant. It is great to have him.”
Collins has found first team appearances hard to come by this season, with Angelo Ogbonna and Winston Reid becoming the Hammers’ first choice centre-back pairing.
However, with Reid out injured and James Tomkins playing at right-back, Collins was included against Swansea and he proved his value to the squad.
Whether Collins will be a West Ham player beyond January remains to be seen, though.
Sam Allardyce is said to be interested in signing Collins by the Daily Mirror, with his Sunderland side needing to add some quality to their defence at the next available opportunity.