West Ham skipper Matthew Upson plays up importance of Wigan encounter
PUBLISHED: 13:11 22 April 2010 | UPDATED: 15:54 05 October 2010
West Ham captain Matthew Upson has described Saturdays encounter against Wigan as a survival match and has claimed that his side will survive the dreaded drop
West Ham captain Matt Upson has described Saturdays encounter against Wigan as a 'survival match' and has claimed that his side will survive the dreaded drop.
The Hammers take on a Latics side who, after beating Arsenal 3-2 last Sunday, are almost assured of staying up, but Upson does not believe their opponents will ease up at Upton Park.
"We know what's at stake on Saturday and I think it's going to be a survival match," he said.
"Everything else goes out of the window at that point and the intensity we need to play with and how we're going to go about getting the points are all that matters.
"We'll have to be fully committed and do our jobs properly to get the points.
"I think so (West Ham will avoid relegation). I've always said 'Yes' and I'll continue to say that. We'll definitely stay up. I'm confident."
One team that Upson does not believe they will overtake is Wigan, whose victory over the Gunners puts them four points above West Ham.
"I think that win (against Arsenal) has probably edged Wigan far enough out of it," he said.
"Mathematically, that's not true, but realistically, looking at the form of Burnley, Hull and ourselves, it's highly unlikely that we're going to get enough points to catch Wigan.
"We were travelling up on the coach, so we didn't see the Wigan match. It was a bit of a shock, but these things happen. I thought Wigan really did make a big surge for it and got their reward. They never gave up and produced a really resilient performance."
The same could not be said of West Ham on Monday night, who were terrible against Liverpool at Anfield losing 3-0.
"It was a disappointing performance. Liverpool played pretty well, but we were quite disappointed after the last couple of games," he said.
"I thought we had a couple of little decent chances in the second half when (Guillermo) Franco came on and made a difference.
"He slid a couple of little balls through that looked decent, but we didn't particularly threaten and it made it a long evening for us."
And the England international acknowledged that both he and his defenders around him have to take a large slice of the blame for the defeat.
"I thought we didn't react quickly enough to situations defensively, which cost us really," he said.
"Once you go behind at Anfield, they keep the ball so well and create space and move the ball so well and it's very difficult to get a grip of the game.
"I've had to keep a lot of focus and positive things in my play. I was disappointed with myself on Monday, but the rest of the time I've been very pleased.