West Ham defender James Collins says the club cannot continue to be over-reliant on the “world-class” quality of Dimitri Payet to get them results.
Slaven Bilic’s side halted a run of four successive Premier League defeats with a hard-earned 1-1 draw against Middlesbrough, Payet turning on the style with a wonderful solo effort to cancel out Cristhian Stuani’s header.
However, Wales veteran Collins – who made his 250th Premier League appearance in Saturday’s clash at London Stadium – was quick to claim that West Ham must not become a one-man team.
“It’s a great goal. He’s a world class player but we can’t depend on him to keep making goals like this, we need to defend better,” Collins said.
“The last four or five weeks have been terrible. A point is what we needed but I think we deserved the three points.
“It’s always disappointing to concede, especially from as something as straightforward as a corner, but it’s a step in the right direction.”
Payet’s stunning goal came just six minutes after Stuani had put Aitor Karanka’s side ahead early in the second half, and West Ham goalkeeper Adrian believes that the Frenchman’s slaloming run and finish was reminiscent of Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi.
“Payet is like that in training,” the Spaniard told the BBC. “He scored like how Lionel Messi would score for Barcelona! It’s a massive goal for us.
“We showed team spirit and character. This is the way to earn more points. It is a draw, one more point but a good one for us. We have to keep fighting.”