Piquionne knows the score

When Frederic Piquionne headed in West Ham United's winner against Tottenham Hotspur on 25 September, the France striker believed the 1-0 victory would kick-start the Hammers' season.

While results have not quite gone to plan since then, Piquionne believes West Ham have a second chance to get things up and running when West Bromwich Albion visit the Boleyn Ground on Wednesday evening.

The Baggies have been beaten in their last two Barclays Premier League fixtures, while West Ham secured a richly-deserved point at Birmingham City on Saturday.

While nothing is guaranteed, Piquionne believes a success against Roberto Di Matteo's side could prove crucial in turning the hosts' season around - while also upsetting his old adversaries Marc-Antoine Fortune and the suspended Youssuf Mulumbu.

"We need to take points and on Saturday it was a shame that we didn't take all three [at Birmingham City]. One point away from home is OK, but now we need to focus on Wednesday and we need to win. We need to win on Wednesday and on Saturday [against Blackpool] as well.

"I know Fortune and Mulumbu from my time in France. They are both good players but Wednesday is a big game for us and we must overcome them. I think it is a crossroads for us. I thought the same against Tottenham, but this is it for us. We simply have to win."

Should the home side prevail, Piquionne said three points would be a fitting reward for the 3,000-odd supporters who cheered their team on so vociferously at St Andrews last weekend.

"The away end is full every time we play and we want to win games for them. They are there every time. We hear them every time we play and we need to take points for both us and for them."

Looking back to Saturday's draw at Birmingham, Piquionne was at a loss to explain how the Hammers had drawn a game they dominated for at least 75 minutes.

The France international bagged his fourth goal for the club to put them 1-0 up shortly after half-time and, although Valon Behrami added a second, West Ham were unable to hang on to their advantage.

"It was an unbelievable game. We scored two times and it was normal that Birmingham pressed us after that, but I think we threw the game away.

"I think we just made mistakes rather than we played badly. Their goals were goals that could have happened at any time in the match. We needed to be cleverer, but I don't have an explanation for what happened."