December 12 2013 Latest news:
Dave Evans , West Ham Correspondent
Thursday, October 31, 2013
West Ham midfielder Jack Collison has returned from a month’s loan determined to win his place back in the Hammers starting line-up
While much of the excitement at West Ham in recent weeks has been about Ravel Morrison, another Hammers midfield man sent a defiant message to manager Sam Allardyce at Burnley on Tuesday night.
Jack Collison returned from a month’s loan at Bournemouth to star for the Hammers as they booked their place in the last eight of the Capital One Cup with a 2-0 victory.
The 25-year-old came off the bench at half time and added much-needed spark to the West Ham midfield before rounding things off with a goal of his own from the penalty spot in injury time at Turf Moor.
And the player paid tribute to the Cherries for his enjoyable time on the south coast.
“It was a great experience,” he said. “They were a good set of players and a fantastic set up down there and I am very thankful for them giving me the chance to get some minutes under my belt.
“I got four 90 minutes in a month and for someone like me, that is massive.”
Collison certainly looked sharper when he replaced Mo Diame at half time on Tuesday and alongside fellow subs Stewart Downing and Kevin Nolan, he inspired West Ham to victory.
“It is hard sometimes to be thrown in to the mix when you haven’t played for weeks, so I think the game time at Bournemouth was invaluable.
“It gave me a little bit of a spark, a boost of energy and now I am back and raring to go and I am here to fight for my place.”
It won’t be easy, but things have never been easy for the former Academy player whose career has been plagued by knee injuires.
That problem is never far away, but at the moment, he is feeling on top of the world and was delighted to get a goal.
“There was some great closing down by Nolan and Maiga and the keeper has not hit his kick clear and it dropped to me,” explained Collison.
“I was a bit surprised and nearly made a hash of it, but I was confident I was going to score and luckily I tucked it away.”
Matt Taylor had scored the first West Ham penalty on the night, but Collison revealed he was quite keen on that one too.
“I have not really taken penalties before, but I fancied the first one as well, but Kevin Nolan told me to leave it to Matty as he has a lovely left foot,” said the midfield man.
Aston Villa come to Upton Park on Saturday, so is Collison looking to figure then as well?
“We will see what happens,” he said. “The Burnley game has done me a world of good.
“Coming in, scoring the goal and I thought I did fairly well.
“The decision is up to the manager, but it is up to me to give him a couple of headaches over the next couple of weeks and we will see where we are.”
He has certainly done that.