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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

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West Ham youngster James Tomkins has told Gianfranco Zola he is ready to step in for James Collins after the Wales defender was ruled out for a month.

Collins injured a hamstring in the defeat to Bolton at the weekend and Tomkins came on, and the 19-year-old could start at Middlesbrough in the FA Cup fifth-round replay.

"Obviously 'Ginge' (Collins) has been doing very well when he has been playing but maybe there is going to be a chance for me," Tomkins said.

"You obviously feel for the lad and hope he's not going to be out for too long because he's been doing really well for us. If I get my chance I've got to take it, but no place is guaranteed at the moment."

The Hammers lost at Bolton and Tomkins is determined to give the boss Zola (pictured) a boost with a cup win.

"In the dressing room everyone was down but we've got to pick ourselves up again quickly because we've got this game," he said.

"We have to look back at it quickly, look at the errors that we made and obviously carry on from there because we've got a big game coming up."

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