Captain eyes Algeria start

Matthew Upson has backed West Ham United club-mate Robert Green to shrug off his recent disappointment by shining in Friday's 2010 FIFA World Cup Group C meeting with Algeria.

Green has come under fire after his uncharacteristic error gifted Clint Dempsey an equaliser in Saturday's opener against the United States in Rustenburg, which ended 1-1.

While some commentators have suggested that the Hammers goalkeeper may be replaced by David James or Joe Hart, Upson is one of the many who believe Green should be given the chance to make amends for his mistake.

"Robert Green is 100 per cent ready to play on Friday," said the West Ham captain. "These mistakes happen, although I cannot ever recall him doing anything like that.

"He is a big boy and has handled it really well. He just has to put it behind him and move on."

Green has won widespread backing and sympathy following his unfortunate handling error, with the likes of former Hammers and Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Shaka Hislop, Northern Ireland great Pat Jennings, club-mate Jonathan Spector and US stars Tim Howard and Landon Donovan all publicly praising him.

Upson himself is also battling for a place in Fabio Capello's starting lineup for Friday's clash with Algeria in Cape Town on Friday evening.

Following injuries to skipper Rio Ferdinand and Ledley King, John Terry will require a new central defensive partner at Green Point Stadium, with Upson, Jamie Carragher and Michael Dawson all hoping to get the nod.

Having featured in six of England's ten qualifiers, the 31-year-old is confident he will do a good job if called upon.

"The nature of the industry we are in means you are always going to suffer personal setbacks," said Upson.

"I am desperate to play my part. I have to be patient, keep focussed and keep working hard in training.

"That has been my mine focus since I have been here. That is not going to change for the duration of the tournament. Everything else is outside my control."