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Collison credits Allardyce and Nolan for dressing room unity

Filed: Tuesday, 17th March 2015
By: Staff Writer

Former Hammer Jack Collison believes that West Ham's re-establishment as a Premier League force is largely down to two of the club's more controversial characters.

The 26-year-old Welsh international is taking the rest of the season out as he attempts to recover from the latest in a long line of injuries which have halted his professional career.

His time at West Ham ended last summer after a series of injuries problems - which began with a knee injury at Wigan in 2009 - resulted in the club failing to offer a new contract.

Yet despite having been given that particularly disappointing news a year ago by the club's current manager, he bears no ill feeling towards Sam Allardyce.

Quite the contrary in fact, with Collison maintaining that the under-fire manager is one of the key components behind the club's year-on-year progression since 2011.

"Sam's an honest person and if you work hard, try your hardest, play well but don't always get the results he's fair on you," said Collison, speaking exclusively on the latest edition of the KUMB West Ham Podcast.

"At the same time, if you don't quite put the effort in he's the first to tell you.

"He's very good; he can keep his distance whilst at other times he can have a bit of a laugh and a joke with you. He picks and chooses his moments well and I think that's why the boys took to him."

Recalling the manager's appointment in May 2011, Collison added that the news was not universally welcomed by everyone at the club initially - but that one additional and vitally-important signing made everything click into place.

"The young lads were hoping Kevin Keen would take over as he's a fantastic coach - then Big Sam comes in," he said. "It was a big name and I'm not sure everyone knew how to take it.

"Then he brought Kevin Nolan in - and he was the bridge between Big Sam and the boys.

"The changing room that he, Sam Allardyce and the Chairmen have built is a great place to be around, even now. The likes of Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho have been phenomenal this year - and a big part of that is down to Kevin Nolan.

"He made the transition pretty easy. That season in the Championship was one of the most enjoyable I had and it was good to play under Big Sam, who is such a big character. I enjoyed my time with him."

Jack on Jimmy (Audio)

Jack Collison recalls his only ever red card - for a challenge on Reading's showboating Jimmy Kebe - in the latest KUMB Podcast (clip duration 00:27).

>> Listen to the full, hour-long exclusive interview with Jack here.

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