10.13.2008

Belarus – England preview: Matthew Upson starts to relieve

Matthew Upson said that he finally believes he deserves to be part of the England squad and that his positive attitude will only help him when he gets the opportunity to play for his country.

Upson made his debut for England back in 2003 and says that in the past he may not have thought highly enough of his own abilities, but the West Ham defender admitted that his outlook has changed.

"Maybe previously I have not believed in myself enough," Upson explained. "I did not think I deserved to be here.

"But when you feel like that, you only end up going one way. Now I do believe I deserve to be here. I think I can step in and do the job.

"Just because John Terry is the captain and Rio Ferdinand is the vice-captain does not automatically mean they are going to get picked.

"Things change very quickly in football. You get injuries and loss of form. It doesn't matter what someone else is doing, it is about how I am playing and I have to make sure I am ready."

While he admits that losing skipper John Terry and Ashley Cole for the game in Belarus is disappointing, Upson says that the strength of the England squad will mean that quality players can come into those positions.

"It is a blow to lose John but I guess it is a hazard of the game, that is what the squad is here for.

"We have enough strength in depth. We just have to pull together and make sure we approach Belarus in the same manner as always."

Man of the Match on Saturday, Wayne Rooney has also been singled out for praise from Upson who believes that the Manchester United forward has grown up very quickly in the game.

"Wayne has made an unbelievable start to his career. People sometimes forget how young he is. When you are young, you tend to find everything is for free. There is not much expectation and you grab what you see.

"But when things get tough, people expect a certain level of performance from us. Wayne has coped with it brilliantly and has gone from strength to strength."

Source: FA

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