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Upson's World Cup hopes

PUBLISHED: 18:22 17 June 2010 | UPDATED: 11:34 12 July 2010

Matthew Upson. Picture: Library.

Matthew Upson. Picture: Library.

Matthew Upson admits he is “desperate” to get a chance to play his part in England's bid for World Cup glory in South Africa.

The former Diss High School pupil missed out to Ledley King when England manager Fabio Capello was forced to replace captain Rio Ferdinand in the centre of defence before the tournament.

Matthew Upson admits he is “desperate” to get a chance to play his part in England's bid for World Cup glory in South Africa.

The former Diss High School pupil missed out to Ledley King when England manager Fabio Capello was forced to replace captain Rio Ferdinand in the centre of defence before the tournament.

And it was Jamie Carragher who Capello turned to when injury forced King to withdraw half-way through Saturday's opening Group C match against the USA.

But the 31-year-old, who won his first England cap against South Africa in 2003, is keeping his fingers crossed that his name will be to the forefront of the manager's mind when he picks the team for Friday's meeting with Algeria in Cape Town.

The West Ham centre-back has slipped down the pecking order since starting nine of the 15 matches England played immediately before Capello named his provisional squad in May.

But with worries over the lack of pace in the centre of England's defence he's trying to remain optimistic.

“The nature of the industry we are in means you are always going to suffer personal setbacks,” said the man whose proud parents, Richard and Susan, have plans to fly out to South Africa to see him in action.

“I am desperate to play my part. I have to be patient, keep focused and keep working hard in training.

“That has been my mine focus since I have been here. That is not going to change for the duration of the tournament. Everything else is outside my control.”

Capello also has to make a decision over Upson's West Ham team-mate Robert Green following the mistake which cost England victory on Saturday.

But Upson retains the utmost faith in the former Canaries keeper. “Robert Green is 100pc ready to play. These mistakes happen, although I cannot ever recall him doing anything like that. He has handled it really well. He just has to put it behind him and move on.”


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