Specs eyes Everton repeat

Jonathan Spector is hoping lightning can strike twice and a trip to Everton will serve as the catalyst to West Ham United achieving Barclays Premier League survival.

On Easter Sunday 2010, the Hammers travelled to Goodison Park on a run of six consecutive league defeats.

When Yakubu put Everton ahead with five minutes remaining, West Ham looked on course for a seventh straight loss, only for Ilan to dive to head home Julien Faubert's cross with just three minutes to go.

Having escaped defeat at Everton, West Ham would pick up seven points from their final five matches to stay up.

Spector was playing at left-back that afternoon in April last year and, although he is now lining up in a different position in central midfield, the American is eyeing a repeat performance.

"The aim is to go there and get a result. Obviously a point is OK but we go there looking for a win. That's what our focus will be on.

"We've had some pretty good results and are aiming to turn our season around. Hopefully, this game will act as a boost and do the same as happened last season and will serve as the catalyst to help us climb the table.

"The reverse fixture in December is a game we felt we should have won but we ended up with a draw. Hopefully we can go up there and get a win."

While Spector is naturally looking forward rather than into the past, the United States international admitted the Hammers had been second-best against Arsenal on Saturday.

However, the American refused to blame the club's absent midfielders - Scott Parker, Thomas Hitzlsperger, Jack Collison and Valon Behrami were all out injured, while Mark Noble was forced off with a calf injury early in the first half.

Spector lined up alongside Radoslav Kovac and Luis Boa Morte in the centre of midfield, and the 24-year-old backed his experienced colleagues to rise to the challenge between now and the season's end.

"Certainly it was a disappointing result as we wanted to build on the recent results we've had at home. We had a couple of great nights over the previous week and would have liked to have pushed on but it didn't happen.

"It was a tough game. You know they're going to have a lot of the ball because they're very good at keeping it, passing it and moving it around. We made it difficult for ourselves by not keeping it.

"They [Kovac and Boa Morte] are international players, so it's not a case of us not having experience in there. They've played for their countries and certainly have the ability."

While Kovac and Boa Morte have spent the majority of their professional careers in central midfield, Spector himself has recently moved forward from his previous position in defence to patrol the middle of the park.

The switch has led to important goals against Manchester United and Barnsley and some buccaneering runs in support of the attack, but the Chicago native admitted he still has a lot to learn about his new role.

"I'm still getting used to it, but I'm getting more and more comfortable in that role with every game. I'm delighted to be playing and hopefully I'll be able to continue in there and learn the position more and more."