West Ham United defender James Collins on the message Slaven Bilic gave him in pre-season

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West Ham United have conceded just twice in the last six matches James Collins has played.

James Collins has told West Ham United’s official site that Slaven Bilic informed him that his time at Upton Park could have been up last summer.

Bilic was honest with Collins at the start of the season, and he said to the experienced centre back that he would be fourth choice for the campaign ahead.

However, Collins has forced his way into first team contention recently, and he has been putting in some of the finest performances of his career.

And the Welsh international said: “Credit to the gaffer, because at the start of the season he was deadly honest with me. It looked like I may have had to leave to find regular football. He pulled me in and said, ‘Yes you are fourth choice, this is the situation, but it can change, it’s up to you’.

"Since then I’ve worked hard in training every day, I come in with a smile on my face and when the chances have come, thankfully, I’ve taken them.”

Collins’ good form has earned him a new contract at West Ham, and he seems to have moved up the pecking order.

The 32-year-old has featured prominently in West Ham’s more recent fixtures, starting alongside Angelo Ogbonna at the heart of the side’s defensive.

His consistent excellence has forced James Tomkins to play at right-back, and even Winston Reid faces a fight to win his place back when he returns to fitness.

Reid is expected to return to health soon, but West Ham have conceded just twice in the last six matches Collins has played - leaving Bilic with a selection dilemma.

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