Upson leads the way

Matthew Upson said the squad and coaching staff would return to work this week determined to make amends for the weekend disappointment.

The skipper said the fans had every right to be frustrated and expected a positive reaction within the camp to the 2-1 home defeat by Newcastle United on Saturday. Carlton Cole had capped a bright opening spell with his first goal of the season. Newcastle then roared back to score two unanswered goals through Kevin Nolan and Joey Barton with the captain limping out in between with a hamstring worry.

"I absolutely understand the fans," Upson said. "We do have an intelligent group of supporters who know what good football is and have seen it over the years. They have every reason to be quite bamboozled as to how we can play so poorly in the second half.

"We have to analyse that as a group, the manager has to figure out the answers to that and we have to work on it. It is the only way to progress. I feel we have to behave in a way all week that is going to make us better as a team. If we do that we have enough to see us through this league campaign. It is just a case of getting that out there on the pitch.

"We have to go away, analyse and find out the reasons why we underpformed in the second half especially. It felt like we really the impetus to score again in the first half and all of a sudden we were on the back foot. We have to look at those things and why there was such a swing in the performance."

Upson said the team should take heart from the overall performances in the previous five unbeaten matches, when results and performances had begun to go hand in hand. "We know two wins is really going to pick you up out of there and thrust you into mid-table area. I think that is an area we feel we can realistically maintain.

"On Saturday we let ourselves down and did not get the result we needed at home to move forward. We have to analyse it, we can't dwell on it and we need to improve."