Upson example to inspire others

Alan Curbishley believes West Ham United have a "healthy contingent" of players that can take heart from Matthew Upson forcing his way into the England set-up.

"They all can take inspiration from Matthew Upson," he said after the No6's solid display in the 2-1 win against Switzerland at Wembley on Wednesday night. "We have got a bit of a spine in our squad. Rob Green and Anton Ferdinand are playing well and [Fabio Capello] would have taken note of that in the last couple of weeks." As well as putting forward the names of Scott Parker and Kieron Dyer as future candidates, Curbishley added that "you have got Dean Ashton who they will be looking at and Mark Noble is in there as well".

Regarding Noble, who followed up his match-winning display against Liverpool on 30 January with run-outs against Wigan Athletic last Saturday and then for Stuart Pearce's Under-21s in a 3-0 victory against the Republic of Ireland on Tuesday, Curbishley said: "He is playing regularly for the U21s and the Liverpool game demonstrated what he is about. He ran an enormous amount during the game. What I know when I play Mark Noble is he is going to give us everything he is got. It hasn't gone unnoticed and Stuart Pearce is a big fan.

"We have got a healthy contingent of players that Capello should look at. I think that [his adviser Franco] Baldini who does a lot of the scouting was at our two Man City games, he was at the Liverpool game. We know we have been well watched so anyone who is playing at the moment has got to be looking to impress. If there is a small group of English players out there who consider themselves with a chance of playing, they have got to be putting it in week in, week out."

For now, it is Upson who has made the break and Curbishley underlined that "we are all very pleased for Matty". He added: "He has worked ever so hard. I know all the games have been looked at. We are really pleased for him." On whether he has done enough to remain in the squad when the likes of John Terry and Ledley King are fit for next month's trip to play France in Paris, Curbishley added: "He has got himself there, he has not done himself any harm. He has got to stay fit, keep playing well and wait for the next squad.

"He has shown why we bought him. He is a very good player, a very good professional and very good around the training ground. We knew what we were getting. We were just disappointed we didn't have him for the run-in last season. He has shown what he's about since he has got himself right. On and off the field, he is totally professional."