Specs focused

With the draw for the FIFA World Cup made and Jonathan Spector facing a potential meeting with three of his club-mates in the opening game, it would be understandable if his mind was to drift off to thoughts of South Africa occasionally.

Nothing could be further from the truth, though, as the United States full-back is first and foremost determined to help West Ham United advance up the Barclays Premier League starting with this weekend at Birmingham City.

"I'm certainly looking forward but my main concern right now is with West Ham and it's really my sole focus," Spector said. "Sometimes you can switch your focus to prepare for a game with your country and preparing for the World Cup. But right now my sole focus is with West Ham."

Spector and the rest of the first-team squad were back on the Chadwell Heath training pitches early on Monday morning to begin preparations for Saturday's game at St. Andrews, knowing that a win could lift them up four places.

"The manager has instilled that in us that even if we have a bad game or a bad result that we're going to go back to the training ground and work even harder to try and get the result we want. We have two winnable games coming up and that's what we're looking to do."

The 23-year-old has started the Hammers' last two games at right-back and, should he be selected by Gianfanco Zola again for Saturday's game, is determined to help the side return to winning ways ahead of the trip to Bolton Wanderers three days later.

"It's nice to be in the side but it's nicer to be a side that's winning," he said.

After holding their own in the opening half in Saturday's match with Manchester United on Saturday, West Ham United were pinned back in the second period as Spector's former club turned on the style.

"You see Manchester United do it time and time again. They score goals at the end of the first half. It really is heartbreaking when that happens as I thought we played quite well in the first half. We kept the ball well and defended well.

"In the second half when they were 2-0 up and we had to chase the game and take a chance to try and get some points, but against the champions that was always going to be difficult."

Last Friday's draw means Spector could line up against a trio of team-mates in Robert Green, Matthew Upson and Carlton Cole when England kick-off their World Cup campaign in Rustenberg on Saturday 12 June.

"It's a good draw for us. England is going to be a tough game but it's one I'm personally looking forward to. Playing against my team-mates and a lot people I know.

"We've got a lot of guys in the US team that play over here and have played here in the past but it's one we've been looking forward to. The other two games with Slovenia and Algeria are two we look forward to and we'll have a good chance of advancing."

Spector was a key player for the United States as they reached the final of the FIFA Confederations Cup in June, beating European champions along the way in South Africa. He expects his country to build on that achievement in the same nation next summer.

"We're trying to make a name for ourselves on the world stage with the Confederations Cup. In the last World Cup we had a really tough group and didn't quite make it out but I think this year we'll be looking forward to it and getting out of our group

"After that who knows what can happen. We'll be hoping for a few more of the games we had in the Confederations Cup, where we beat Spain, the No1 team, in the semi-final."