Matthew Upson: West Ham defeat has cast shadow on my England joy
Matthew Upson admits he was brought down to earth with a bump as West Ham crashed to defeat at Wigan
By JONATHAN CLEGG
Matthew Upson admits he was brought down to earth with a bump as West Ham crashed to defeat at Wigan.
Days earlier, Upson had helped England reach next summer's World Cup finals with a stunning 5-1 destruction of Croatia at Wembley.
But the centre-half was given little time to enjoy his international exploits after returning to the heart of the West Ham defence three days later as the Hammers fell to a 1-0 defeat at the DW Stadium.
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The 29-year-old revealed afterwards that the result had soured an otherwise memorable week, but denied that England's midweek endeavours had affected his performance against Wigan.
"It is a bit of a disappointment really. I was on a bit of a high after Wednesday night, and the first game back for your club is always quite difficult," Upson said.
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"You have been away on international duty for 10 days and you have to mentally approach it properly and really get stuck into it.
"But I thought we looked quite solid up until the goal, which was a sloppy one to give away, and after that I don't really remember them having any chances."
Upson's chief disappointment was that the Hammers had failed to reach their usual standards, with chances few and far between against a side they had defeated twice in the previous campaign.
"As a team we didn't create enough chances, and we know we can play a lot better than that.
"We probably didn't deserve to lose but we didn't create enough or play anywhere near to our potential, so it was a disappointing afternoon."
Hammers boss Gianfranco Zola shared the view that his side were unfortunate to end up on the losing side, but warned that sloppy mistakes are starting to cost his side vital points.
Wigan had posed little threat before half-time, but punished West Ham for a slow opening to the second half as Hugo Rodallega prodded home a loose ball to seal a home victory.
"This is not the first time that we have not started the second half at the same level as the first and it is something we need to work on," Zola said.
"It was a scrappy goal and in vital moments we have to raise our attention a little bit. This is the second game that we have lost from mistakes.
"When you look at the game, I think they only had one shot in the whole game but we lost 1-0 and that is a pity.