Upson issues rallying call
By Alex Dunn
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Matthew Upson has urged his West Ham team-mates to put personal issues aside.
Matthew Upson has urged his West Ham team-mates to put personal issues aside and pull together in a bid to stave off the drop.
Alan Curbishley's side are languishing in the relegation places and this week saw their woes exacerbated when they were charged by the Premier League for breaching rules over the signings of Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano last August.
A possible points deduction is hovering over Upton Park ominously but Upson is well aware that any such sanction will be immaterial in any case, should West Ham fail to address an on-the-field slump.
Since arriving in the East End in the January transfer window Upson has had precious little opportunity to justify his £7million price tag but it would appear he has had chance to observe a 'baby Bentley' culture that is said to be prevalent in the club's dressing room.
Upson concedes, perhaps naturally given the club's position, that there is tension but it is not something he is looking to use as an excuse for what has been the most miserable of seasons following last term's success.
"There are disagreements and people who don't get on in every club in the country - and probably every workplace in the country," he said.
"It's not something uncommon to me. You don't have to like the people you work with, you just have to respect what they do in their job.
"You might not want to go out and have a coffee with them but if they turn up and do their job properly on the pitch, I couldn't care less if people like each other or not.
"We need to focus on our performances and not all the other issues going on.
"The situation is bleaker than when we (the new signings) came in January. Everyone is saying we have no chance and that might end up being a positive if it relieves pressure.
"I can handle misplaced passes but you just can't forgive not having that commitment and desire to give to the fans."
Upson, who has not played since injuring his calf on his debut, is ready to make a comeback on Sunday against Tottenham and he will not shirk responsibility in taking control.
"There's a lot riding on me in every game and I want that responsibility on my shoulders," he added.
"I feel equipped to deal with it. It's been frustrating. I couldn't rush it back and had to be sure the strength was there. I returned to full training on Thursday.
"It's shocking and painful sitting there watching things go on. Last Saturday against Charlton was a real low point and I haven't been able to do anything about it."