Matthew Upson is ready to take the "next step" as England take on Switzerland at Wembley tonight in the first match of Fabio Capello's reign.
The 28-year-old West Ham United defender has won a starting berth for the high-profile friendly having been recalled by his country for the first time since a November 2004 friendly against Spain. Whatever happens, Upson's fine form this season has been all about making progress, with the ever-present continually looking to better himself - first for club and then for country.
"It's the next step for me," he said of his return to the international set-up. "It's just a constant progression now. I have to keep making the next step. Like I said before, I'm willing to do whatever it takes and I'm really hungry for it. I just want to get the best out of myself." Upson is set for a big week as he will return from England duty fully committed to helping his side in league action against the club he left a year ago, Birmingham City.
Despite last Saturday's setback, he sees bright things ahead. "The players have made a really big effort," Upson said. "The manager is pleased with the application of the players on a match day and the results we've picked up. Now to be in touching distance of a potential top eight or even top six finish if we end the season strongly. That would be a really good achievement, given the adversity the squad has had."
Upson's international caps to date (England score first)
|Spain||Away||0-1||17 November 2004|
|Denmark||Home||2-3||16 November 2003|
|Liechtenstein||Home||2-0||10 September 2003|
|Croatia||Home||3-1||20 August 2003|
|Slovakia||Home||2-1||11 June 2003|
|Serbia & Mont.||Home||2-1||3 June 2003|
|South Africa||Away||2-1||22 May 2003|