Date: 1st September 2006 at 12:02pm
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The form of Ferdinand is keeping Collins out of the West Ham side, but the defender is still first choice for Wales. And although he plays alongside Danny Gabbidon on the international stage, he can’t hold down that position for his club.

Collins and Gabbidon will stand side by side when the Euro 2008 qualifiers start for Wales in the Czech Republic on Saturday.

Collins: ‘My aims are to get into the West Ham team, stay in and take the club further. We are all geared to winning something this season with a young and exciting squad. We are all determined to have a good season.

‘But I know I have to fight for a place with the competition around at the club. That was why I missed the FA Cup final, it was a big blow but I accepted the gaffer’s decision.

‘Obviously, I want to play more and to play alongside Gabbs. We have played alongside each other for years, with Cardiff and now Wales.

‘We know each other’s games inside out, and the partnership for Wales feels very comfortable. We worked on it at Cardiff and it seems we have been partners for years.

‘At West Ham I have got into the side when we needed strength at the back and the extra defender to handle Watford’s aerial threat – I was happy with that.

‘It will be a long, hard season for West Ham being in Europe and facing a tough second season back in the top flight. The gaffer has made it clear he will need everyone and although I know Anton and Gabbs have started this season how they left of last, I am happy that it means West Ham are winning games and I’ll just have to work and wait for my chance.’