Upson clear on goal

Matthew Upson led the way again for West Ham United on Tuesday night in the 1-1 draw with Portsmouth - not least with the goal that set the Hammers on their way.

The captain was part of another strong rearguard effort but also played his part at the other end. In the 52nd minute, he claimed a vital touch on Younes Kaboul's attempted clearance from Alessandro Diamanti's cross to send the ball looping in over Asmir Begovic.

It may not have been the most clinical of finishes but Upson was not concerned. "I am most definitely claiming the goal. It doesn't matter how they go in. It hit me last so I'm claiming it," he said.

"The initial corner got cleared and I knew the way that Alessandro delivers it that it was going to end up in that area. I made my way to a place where I thought I could affect the ball. It was a difficult height for the defenders to deal with. I managed to get my body in the way and block it and it just looped into the net."

The point maintains the Hammers' 16th position in the Barclays Premier League standings, but a win in Saturday's home match with Blackburn Rovers could elevate them to 13th in the standings.

"I think the home form will decide things for us," Upson added. "Saturday is a huge game and a game we will be looking to get a win from. If we do that, and we're fully focused on that, then Portsmouth will look like a good result.

"If we win on Saturday, we will look at it as a good point. It would have been nice to take three looking at the position we were in, especially with the chances we didn't take in the first half. It's not an easy place to come and play and we've got to look at the positive side of things."

Upson reiterated his pleasure that matters off the pitch have had a positive resolution, with David Gold and David Sullivan, two familiar faces from his Birmingham City days, assuming control of the club.

"It's been great to clear up all the overhanging speculation of needing a buyer and needing financial help. We've solved that with the takeover and I'm glad we've got a couple of people in that are very passionate about the club, so it's a positive for the club and for the players.

"I've worked under them before so I know how they are going to do business and get it organised, The club needs it and needs that kind of work so they are fully equipped to get the job done."