Tonks targets Villa victory

James Tomkins is determined to help West Ham United avenge their opening-day defeat when Aston Villa arrive at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday.

The England Under-2 1 defender was part of the Hammers team that lost 3-0 at Villa Park back in August, a loss that set the tone for a disappointing first half of the season. Since then, the squad have improved, even accounting for defeats in the last two matches at home to Manchester United and away to Bolton Wanderers.

With six matches to go and the Hammers sitting one point and place behind safety, this weekend's fixture will be a tense affair. "Villa is a huge game," Tomkins told West Ham TV. "It is a six-pointer. Hopefully we can make up for the first game this season. They are a good team but we have to remember we are a good team as well. "

On the issue of survival, Tomkins said that the Hammers would need to focus on the task in hand and not think too far ahead. He also believed last year's experience at the wrong end of the table would prove invaluable in keeping on top of the pressure.

"We have got a lot of experience from last year and it is pretty similar. We have got to pick up the three points and that is the most important thing. We need to get over 40 points to stay in the league.

"That is the way it is going. We need to take it one game at a time and concentrate on Villa. We are still upbeat, we have had good results and have shown we can beat anyone on their day."