Collison finally able to look to future
Jack Collison has insisted after his match-winning weekend heroics that he is in good shape to enjoy a fruitful end to the season with both West Ham United and Wales.
The midfielder stepped off the substitutes' bench when the Hammers lost both Matthew Taylor and Joe Cole to injuries after only 11 minutes of the Premier League game at Stoke, and he delivered the game-winning goal just before half-time to lift the fortunes of both himself and his side with a 1-0 victory.
Sam Allardyce's men had lost six successive away games and slipped to the fringes of the relegation battle while Collison has had to be patient for first-team opportunities amid his extensive knee problems.
But he said: "Knee-wise, I have felt the best in years and I've been training most days and working hard on my fitness.
"Looking at the strength and quality in our squad, it's going to be hard to hold down a place. But, physically, I feel the best I have in years and I will be available if Wales pick me this month for the next game.
"When the chances come, like against Stoke, you just take them and try to put yourself in the manager's thoughts."
West Ham are now alongside Stoke on 33 points and contemplating a more relaxed run-in after putting a rare dent in their hosts' formidable home record.
"This was a massive result because Chelsea are the only other team to win here this season," Colison added.
"Now we can look up rather than behind us. We did magnificently last season to bounce back and now it's up to us to make sure we stay here and push on.
"We have been disappointed with our away form and it was important to get something from this game. We're delighted with the points and the clean sheet.
"We had a game plan and the manager is regimented in that. The lads at the back dealt with their threat."
The victory was only West Ham's third on their league travels this season, the others having come at Queens Park Rangers and Newcastle in the autumn.