Controlling Luis Suarez was key to draw against Liverpool says West Ham defender James Collins
The London club left Anfield with a 0-0 draw
Monday 08 April 2013
James Collins has revealed he was prepared to foul Luis Suarez at Anfield yesterday if it meant stopping the Liverpool striker running free in the West Ham box.
Collins and central defensive partner James Tomkins earned plenty of praise for their efforts yesterday, which went a long way towards earning the Hammers a goalless draw that eased them slightly further away from the dreaded relegation zone.
The key was keeping Suarez quiet.
With 29 goals for the Uruguayan this season, that has not been the easiest of tasks as so many Premier League defenders can testify.
But after analysing his game, Collins felt the best way to approach the task was to keep Suarez as far upfield as possible, even if it meant incurring the wrath of referee Anthony Taylor at times.
"I thought about how I was going to defend against him before the game," Collins told http://www.whufc.com.
"Suarez nutmegged me twice to be fair but I knew if you drop off, he is turning and running at you.
"I thought if I could get as tight as possible and tackle him as high up the pitch as possible, even if I fouled him there it was better than him running into the box.
"I was wary of the fact he goes over as well.
"That is why you have to stay on your feet. To win the ball, you just have to go for it sometimes.
"It was one of those games where it came off for me."
The result continues a marked improvement from the Hammers on their travels.
Prior to the win at Stoke, Sam Allardyce's team had lost five Premier League away games on the trot, including at Reading, Aston Villa and Sunderland, the major reason why they have found themselves flirting with relegation trouble.
Although they have lost at Chelsea since that triumph in the Potteries, with more dogged defensive displays, the Hammers have quickly regained their momentum.
"The gaffer got his tactics spot-on again," said Collins.
"We do look more confident away from home."
Not that Collins is expecting many plaudits.
It is just the way it seems to be for West Ham this season, with most observers ignoring the fact they only regained their top-flight status through the play-offs last May, which is never the easiest platform from which to launch a survival fight.
"Sometimes it is nice to slip under the radar and not have people talking about you too much," he said.
"We've set our sights on coming 10th and we don't want to slip up now."
Presents unwrapped, turkey gobbled... it's time to relax
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