Upson full of praise for fans

West Ham skipper Matthew Upson was impressed with the Upton Park atmosphere against Spurs

The 31-year-old England international has not suffered in quite the same way as Robert Green since the World Cup in South Africa, but he would still have been disappointed with how both he and his team have suffered at the start of the new campaign.

However, his return to form coincided with West Ham’s first league win of the season and Upson was keen to emphasise the part played by the crowd in that.

“Saturday was a classic derby,” said the former Birmingham City defender. “Right from the off, the atmosphere was good. We then set the tempo well and the crowd followed us.

“It is up to us to give them something to shout about and they didn’t disappoint us.”

Upson has already had five different central defensive partners this season with James Tomkins, Winston Reid, Tel Ben Haim and Danny Gabbidon all filling the role, before Manuel Da Costa played alongside him against Spurs on Saturday.

And it seems that the Portuguese defender may well have earned himself a run in the team after excellent performances against Stoke City, Sunderland in the Carling Cup – when Upson was rested – and then against Spurs, where he even managed to overshadow his defensive team-mate.

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Upson and Da Costa are likely to be in harness again on Saturday for the visit of Fulham and the England man is once again calling in the fans to show their passion.

“We need that support against Fulham, though I say it is up to us to set the tempo and get the game flowing,” said Upson, who is also excited about the prospect of taking on Stoke City in the Carling Cup fourth round.

“We are very pleased it is a home draw,” he said. “It is an opportunity to get into the quarter-finals. The guys went to Sunderland and did a great job, they performed really well and got it done and we will need to do that against when we play Stoke City.

“We need to give it everything we have got as the chance to go far would be great for the club.”

Robert Green’s resurrection as a top class player may have grabbed most of the headlines at the weekend, but the return to form of the captain and a stalwart of the team, is every bit as important for the club’s success.

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