Tuesday 20 February 2018

James Collins warns West Ham cannot expect Dimitri Payet to dazzle every week

Dimitri Payet, centre, scored a stunning solo goal to rescue a point for West Ham against Middlesbrough
Dimitri Payet, centre, scored a stunning solo goal to rescue a point for West Ham against Middlesbrough

James Collins admits West Ham cannot keep relying on Dimitri Payet.

The Hammers were staring a fifth straight defeat in the face until Payet rescued a 1-1 draw with a stunning solo goal against Middlesbrough on Saturday.

The were trailing to Cristhian Stuani's header when Payet picked up the ball out on the left and promptly beat half the Middlesbrough outfield players before slotting past goalkeeper Victor Valdes.

The France star turned Antonio Barragan on the wing, breezed past Marten de Roon on the edge of the area and then skipped away from Calum Chambers and Ben Gibson before leaving George Friend on his backside as he rolled the ball home.

It was a goal which led manager Slaven Bilic to compare Payet to Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, but defender Collins knows they cannot expect him to bail them out every week.

"It's a great goal and Dimi is a world-class player, but we can't depend on him," Collins told the club website.

"We can't depend on him to keep making goals like that, we need to be better defensively and better going forward and take our chances.

"It's a lot to keep asking Dimi to come up with goals like that, so it's something we need to work on.

"I thought we played better than that and deserved the three points, if I'm honest, but it stops the rot and we've got a break now and can get our heads on for the next game."

That assignment will be a trip to Crystal Palace on October 15.

A point was also a relief for Middlesbrough, who arrived at the London Stadium on the back of three straight defeats.

Boss Aitor Karanka said: "Quality can make the difference. If we don't win the game my main concern is to play with the right attitude and we did that.

"I am pleased to have another point as we go into the international break."

Press Association

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