James Collins: Wales defender wants regular West Ham spot

James Collins in action for West Ham against Swansea City
James Collins (left) played 90 minutes on Sunday as West Ham held Swansea to a goalless draw

Defender James Collins hopes to earn a new deal with West Ham to help secure his place in Wales' Euro 2016 squad.

The 32-year-old has played in only seven league games so far this season and his contract expires in the summer.

Collins started in Sunday's 0-0 draw at Swansea and says he needs to be playing regularly if he is to be involved with Wales in France.

"I need to concentrate on my club form and playing well for West Ham," Collins said.

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"I'm obviously out of contract in the summer, which I need to look at, and performing well week in, week out.

"Staying in the West Ham side will obviously be good for me with my Wales opportunities."

Former Cardiff City centre-half Collins returned to West Ham from Aston Villa in August 2012 on a four-year contract.

He has won 46 caps for Wales since his debut in 2004 but made only one appearance during the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.

James Chester of West Brom and Tottenham's Ben Davies have partnered captain Ashley Williams in the centre of Wales' defence.

Praise from Hammers boss Bilic

After Sunday's draw at the Liberty Stadium, West Ham manager Slaven Bilic was full of praise for Collins.

"Collins is a brilliant professional," the former Croatia boss said.

"Every time he plays for us, whether he comes on for 20 minutes or whether he plays for 90 minutes, he's absolutely magnificent.

"It's a privilege to have that kind of player and character in the team."

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