Upson hoping to earn Capello call

Matthew Upson is eager for his good form to attract the attention of Fabio Capello with the England manager starting his new role on Monday.

"I hope so," the central defender said in an exclusive interview with WHUTV. "I like to think that everyone's coming from a clean sheet and that he makes his opinion on everyone on how they are playing and what their form is. That's all you can ask for. I will keep doing my best - working hard, looking to improve - and see how far it takes me."

The 28-year-old, who won the last of his seven caps as a substitute against Spain in November 2004, is also backing Robert Green to earn a recall in the squad to face Switzerland at Wembley on 6 February. "Greeny has been pretty safe all season. Everyone was commenting on how he wasn't in the squad when Steve McClaren was manager and he had quite a lot of backing from the public and the media. Robert is due a call-up and is one of our top three goalkeepers in the country."

Upson, fast approaching a year in east London, is the only outfield player at the club who has not missed a minute of the league campaign. The West Ham United defender was imperious again on Saturday, this time in FA Cup third-round action, and even took the captain's armband in the second half of the 0-0 home draw against Manchester City when Lucas Neill limped off with a tight hamstring.

"If you look at the two defensive records, a draw was quite likely," he said, reflecting on a tight weekend contest in which chances were at a premium and means the sides will do battle again on 16 January. "We probably didn't create as many chances as we'd like. They play on the break quite a lot and with a lot of pace so we have to be aware of that. It was two good defensive performances from both teams.

The towering display came on the back of a busy week that saw three games against all but one of the top four sides in the country. As last week, when Upson's headed winner ensured a 2-1 home league victory against Manchester United, the club more than held their own. "A draw was a fair result, looking at the overall game. We pressurised them a lot and possibly in the last 15 minutes it looked like we were the most likely to score but we are still in the cup."

With both teams involved in Mondays' fourth-round draw before the replay on Wednesday week, Upson is well aware that pundits may be tipping City to go through - given their strong home form at the City of Manchester Stadium. "It is going to be difficult away but we will look forward to it. It is a big cup tie for both teams so early on [in the competition]. We both want to go through and go as far as we can so it is a very important game."

The replay will be followed by a league meeting at the same venue four days later, something that Upson acknowledges will be tricky for both sides, and the fans, to deal with. "It's not ideal to have to go up there twice in four days but that's life," he said. "We have to go there, give a good account of ourselves and deal with it."

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