Wales class of 2015 the best I've played with, says James Collins

James Collins, Wales
James Collins started his career at Cardiff City

West Ham United defender James Collins says the current Wales squad is the best he has been involved with.

Collins played in the 3-0 away win against Israel which moved Wales top of their Euro 2016 qualifying group.

The 31-year-old, who has played under Mark Hughes, John Toshack and Gary Speed for his country, rates Chris Coleman's current group highly.

"It's the best group of players, best squad I've been involved in for Wales ever," said Collins.

"We are getting the results and the performances to go with it.

"Everyone's together, everyone's pulling in the same direction so we've got a real chance of qualifying."

Wales are unbeaten in five games in a single qualification campaign for the first time since 1976.

They have won three and drawn two of their five qualifiers so far.

Collins had the first real chance to score in Haifa, when Gareth Bale's cross found him unmarked at the far post.

But the centre-back trod on the ball when it seemed easier to score.

The former Aston Villa defender said his miss "thankfully" only proved costly to his father and brother, who had bet on him to score the game's first goal.

"I think my dad and brother were [betting] on it, so I'm sure I'll get a riffling," said Collins.

"I've been practising my finishing all week and to miss... it came a bit quick at me and I thought I was offside.

"It was a bit clumsy but thankfully the boys have gone up the other end and scored three goals and I've done my job at the back."

Coleman's side next face group favourites Belgium, who beat Cyprus 5-0 on Saturday, on 12 June in Cardiff.

Wales' remaining Euro 2016 qualifiers
12 Jun 2015: Belgium (h)10 Oct 2015: Bosnia-Hercegovina (a)
3 Sep 2015: Cyprus (a)13 Oct 2015: Andorra (h)
6 Sep 2015: Israel (h)

Wales could be leapfrogged at the top of Group B as Israel host Belgium on Tuesday.

Israel are two points behind Wales, while Belgium are three behind but have a much better goal difference.

The encounter will be monitored by the Welsh squad according to Collins.

"We'll have an eye on it," he said.

"It's obviously a big game but the old cliche is we'll concentrate on ourselves and concentrate on the next game, meet up in the summer and try and beat the Belgians at home."

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