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The Wales midfielder was on target as Sam Allardyce's team won on the road for the first time since November in the top flight and moved nine points clear of the relegation zone

West Ham midfielder Jack Collison has hailed a "massive three points" for Sam Allardyce's team after his first-half goal secured a 1-0 away victory against Stoke on Saturday.

The Welshman started the game on the substitutes' bench but joined the fray after just 10 minutes as Matt Taylor was forced off with concussion and made his presence known with a goal on the stroke of half-time.

The Irons defended resolutely throughout the second period to secure a first away win since defeating Newcastle in November to lift the club nine points clear of the Premier League relegation zone.

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"It's a massive three points for us," Collison told the club's official website. "It's a clean sheet and it pushes us back up the table so we can look forward rather than behind us again.

"The boys at the back were magnificent on Saturday. Jussi [Jaaskelainen] dealt with everything very well and that gives confidence to the players in front of him to dig in and work hard, because we knew that if we got a chance we'd take it.

"Thankfully we did today, it's a great win, a big three points and lots of positives to take.

"Obviously we know what Stoke are like, the manager's prepped us on it all week. We had a game plan, we dug in, and kept a clean sheet, which was the main thing because we wanted to come away with something. Thankfully we came away with the three points."

Collison's goal was his second of the campaign from just nine appearances, and the 22-year-old admitted that he is happy just to be involved in the first-team squad.

"It was nice to get on the pitch," he added. "Any minutes I get at the moment I'm just enjoying, and trying to do my best to stake a claim in the starting XI.

"Hopefully today helped my cause a little bit and put me in the manager's thoughts for the upcoming games between now and the end of the season."

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