Specs has derby dream

Jonathan Spector is backing fan power to make a difference for the big London derby against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane this coming Saturday lunchtime.

The popular midfielder is under no illusions about the size of the task against the UEFA Champions League challengers. It will be televised around the world, including live in the United States, and the onus is on the Hammers to rise to the occasion and take a giant step towards Barclays Premier League survival.

"It is a massive game for us," said Spector, who should line up for his country against Lionel Messi's Argentina in New Jersey on Saturday week. "Our form in the league recently has been good and we have a little momentum so we want to keep that going so we get the points we need to stay up.

"We have been on a good run in the last few weeks with the league games so we want to keep that going. It is a London derby and it is a game that has the fans looking at it as a big game and everything around it, so it is a good game for us to go into and look to keep the momentum going."

Spector has become an essential part of Avram Grant's matchday plans of late - he set up Carlton Cole's clincher against Liverpool - and he was needed last Sunday in the FA Cup defeat by Stoke City when Frederic Piquionne was forced off with a foot injury. It is hoped the French striker is not too badly hurt, although the club are still waiting for confirmation of how long he will be absent.

"It was disappointing for Freddie to have to come off injured. He had just got the equaliser for us. But I came on and had to look to make an impact that would help us move forward in the game and do what I could to help the team. We didn't get the result here, but we move on now and focus on playing Tottenham on Saturday."

Should Spector get the call against Spurs, he would expect the fans to give him the same raucous reception they did when he entered the fray last time out. He can still remember the 'Great Escape' of 2006/07 when he shone in that vital last-day win at Manchester United.

"You know they say that Stoke fans are known for their noise, but I think our fans have a lot of noise and passion and were just as loud - even though they were fewer in numbers to the home crowd obviously but we could still hear them, which is great.

"Their support is massive to us and we thank them for that. We all need to push forward together for the games we have left and the fan support is vital. They can make a big impact for us, especially when games are difficult and we have to be patient to get a result.

"We need them and I am sure we can count on them to back us as they have all season. It is a big boost to us."