Collins relishing battle for places
Published 14:01 02/09/09 By Pa Sports
James Collins has already warned Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill he has not joined the club just to keep the bench warm.
Collins on Tuesday signed a four-year deal to complete a £5million move from West Ham as O'Neill significantly strengthened his side's defence. The Premier League also ratified the signing of Richard Dunne from Manchester City on Wednesday and that leaves Collins fighting for a place alongside Dunne, Curtis Davies, Carlos Cuellar and the emerging Ciaran Clark.
Relishing the battle, the 26-year-old Wales international said: "I've come here to play, not to sit on the bench."
He added: "Richard Dunne's a fantastic signing so there's going to be serious competition for places.
"There are two lads already here and Ciaran Clark did very well against Fulham.
"But I think you need that because that keeps an edge to your performance and gets you playing well.
"I'm looking forward to the challenge and the sooner we get started the better."
With three full games already under his belt this season for the Hammers, Collins is raring to go for his new club.
"I'm fit, I'm playing well and I've played the first few games of the season, so I'll be looking to carry that on," Collins added on Villa's official website.
"They've got off to a tremendous start, so it's exciting times for myself and everyone going forward at Aston Villa. It's a fantastic squad here, so hopefully I can add to that. It's in great shape."