Upson enjoying life

Matthew Upson is playing football with a big smile on his face at the moment.

The West Ham United and England defender has started every one of the club's 23 Premier League matches this season, playing an influential role in the Hammers' superb recent form. Wednesday evening's 2-0 win over Hull City at the Boleyn Ground saw Gianfranco Zola's side extend their unbeaten run to seven matches in all competitions, lifting United to within five points of the sixth-placed Everton.

On Saturday, Upson returns to Arsenal, the club he joined as an 18-year-old before spending five-and-a-half seasons with the Gunners. With the Hammers unbeaten away from home since 29 October - more than three months ago - the 29-year-old central defender is confident of getting one over his old side at the Emirates Stadium.

"Our performance against Hull was a very impressive. I thought we dominated right from the start. We had a good tempo about our play. Our level of workrate was good and we were aggressive. I was really pleased. We thoroughly deserved the win.

"We're working hard in training and the manager has got us believing in the type of football we want to play and the players have been applying that in the right way. Our mental approach is good so we believe we can go and win any game.

"Our away performances at the top clubs this season have been very good. We're more than capable of going there [to Arsenal] and taking something from the game. I'm sure we'll regroup, we'll have a gameplan and go and adopt a strategy and hopefully go and get something on Saturday."

Upson's impressive form and consistency this season have seen him cement his place in Fabio Capello's England squad. The Suffolk-born player's hard work and commitment were rewarded with his first international goal in the 2-1 win over Germany in Berlin in November. The centre-back believes it will not be long before his West Ham United team-mates - including striker Carlton Cole, goalkeeper Robert Green and midfielder Scott Parker - are joining him regularly with the Three Lions.

"The manager has brought a lot of belief into the players here now and they are playing some of the best football, consistently, of their careers. It's a big bonus to the club and to them individually so it's good times."

Back at the Boleyn Ground, Upson has been delighted with West Ham United's recent home form. After struggling for consistency on their own patch earlier in the season, the Hammers have won their last four home matches in league and cup.

"We're pleased that the fans are enjoying it. Our home form is important. It's important that we can dominate teams and really pass it with belief and confidence. It's good to see that and hopefully we can produce a few more home performances."