West Ham skipper Upson at a loss to explain Birmingham defeat

Upson frustrated at second half showing

Matthew Upson was at a loss to explain why West Ham continue to struggle in the second half of matches.

The east Londoners outplayed Birmingham in the first half of their Carling Cup semi-final at St Andrews and lead 1-0 at the break. However like many games before Wednesday night’s encounter, the Hammers allowed their opponents to control the second period.

They paid the price as the hosts struck twice in the second half to take the tie into extra time where Craig Gardner scored the winning goal to book their trip to Wembley.

West Ham have given up 15 points after taking a lead and now it has cost them a trip to the home of football.

“The pattern is we start the second half poorly, we fought very well in the first half and started the game like we did against Birmingham at home, but the second half we seem to come out with a completely different mindset and attitude. It’s cost us points and it has cost us a place at Wembley,” Upson said.

“We played very well first half like we have a lot of the season, we’ve shown we are capable of playing some good football and we can get hold of the game and looking like we can win. We need to address this and pick up more points in our remaining Premier League games.”

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If the Hammers are to survive it is imperative they start learning from their mistakes. Three times West Ham have played Birmingham this season and every occasion they started well, took a lead, then defended deep and let their opponents bombard them with boxes into the box.

“We’ve tossed a lot of things in there like the momentum of the game like maintaining possession better and taking the sting out of the game, because you know Birmingham are going to have to score two goals, they are going to throw everything at you,” Upson said.

“We need to keep the ball better make them run around try keep possession, while we have the ball they cant score. We seem to have got bombarded second half and paid a big price.

“Everyone is on the floor. It was a difficult experience and we are bitterly disappointed and it’s a real low point, but we have got to move forwards. We are really disappointing to have been in the position we were and not gone on to Wembley.”

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