Specs looking forward

Jonathan Spector is looking forward to locking horns with two familiar faces at Manchester City next Monday.

The United States defender could face ex-West Ham United team-mates Carlos Tevez and Craig Bellamy in the live ESPN-televised fixture at Eastlands.

With Emmanuel Adebayor suspended and both Robinho and Roque Santa Cruz out injured, Bellamy and Tevez have led the City line in recent weeks. Bellamy scored twice in the thrilling 4-3 Barclays Premier League defeat by Manchester United on Sunday, while Tevez set-up City's other goal for Gareth Barry.

As such, Spector, who played a full 120 minutes in Wednesday's Carling Cup extra-time loss at Bolton Wanderers, believes the lively pair could cause problems for Gianfranco Zola's side. However, he also believes the visitors will have their own chances to shine.

"Obviously, they are both very good players, and City have a very good attacking side. At the same time, with the numbers they send forward, I'm sure that we can find a weakness when we counter-attack, which we do very well.

"I think it'll be a good game and a good test for us."

Spector, who began his professional career at City's great cross-city rivals as an 18-year-old, believes West Ham can rise to the challenge of taking on the Citizens, whose defeat by United was  their only reverse in seven matches so far this season.

While the Hammers are on a four-match winless run of their own, the 23-year-old insists it will not be long before they return to winning ways.

"It's been a bit strange, because there have been times when we've played some really good football and it hasn't gone our way. At other times, we've struggled a little bit to play. We just need to find some consistency and to continue to play our football.

"We've certainly got the players with the ability to do well. We've proved that last season and, at times, this year. I know the manager has instilled a confidence in us and the way that we should play. It's up to us to do what he wants.

"We need to start picking up some more points. We've been unlucky at times, but we're certainly on the right track, though."