Captain's rallying cry

Matthew Upson has called on every member of the West Ham United squad to channel all their energy into beating Stoke City.

The Hammers captain issued a rallying cry ahead of Saturday's trip to the Britannia Stadium, with the sole aim of bringing three Barclays Premier League points back to east London.

Upson urged his squad-mates to build on a positive performance against champions Chelsea by turning on the style in front of a live Sky Sports audience this weekend.

"I think it is important how we behave this week in training, how the training is structured and what we do, the intensity of it and the atmosphere around it," said the skipper. "I think those things have to be important this week going into a game we want to win on Saturday.

"We need to do things that are positive, do things quick and sharp and get things buzzing again. I think they are important parts of moving forward to next week."

Upson believes victory at Stoke would be built on a strong, resolute and settled defence, with new arrivals Denmark FIFA World Cup right-back Lars Jacobsen and experienced Israel centre-back Tal Ben Haim impressing on their Premier League debuts for the club.

"We need the stability. If you look at it, we've had four games and four different right-backs, three different people in at right centre-half. It's so hard to get that momentum and clarity of what your job is when things are changing all the time. We need players to come in and stamp their authority on a position and make it their own.

"We're four games into the season and hopefully that can now happen and we can set up with Lars, who is a solid right-back who knows his job. I liked the look of him on Saturday. I thought he did well. He's experienced, he's played a fair bit in the Premier League and he knows his job, so he looked good.

Lars Jacobsen

"I thought Tal did all right. His positioning is good and he uses the ball pretty well. We just need somebody to stamp their authority, as the manager then knows who his No1 and No2 centre-halves are and he goes with them when they are fit. I think every good team has that and in every position we need to have that kind of stability.

"We need to get that momentum going as a unit and stop conceding goals, which has been a problem for us."

Behind the back four, Robert Green will also be crucial. Upson knows the No1 better than most, playing and training with him at both club and international level for the past three-and-a-half years.

With that in mind, the captain believes Green will not be fazed by Chelsea's fortuitous second goal in Saturday's 3-1 defeat. Upson reacted quickest to the loose ball after Green had not held a free-kick, only for the clearance to hit Salomon Kalou on the heel and loop agonisingly into the far corner of the net.

"It was a difficult ball for Rob. Drogba hits those ones, and you've seen it before, with topspin on the ball and it bounces in front of the keeper. It's a difficult ball to hold and that's what I was in there for, if it spins out. We got there and it was one of those things.

"I could still deal with the ball. I got to the ball first. I think there is pressure on me so I want to make sure I get to it, the clearance hits somebody, spins up in the air and goes into the net.

"When things are going badly for you, that is what happens - it hits somebody and spins back into the net. The first goal, though, we have no excuses for. We need to deal with those things. When the ball comes in, we need to have a head on the end of it, but other than that we gave a good account of ourselves and can take positives from the game.

"Rob will continue to work. He has had a bit of minor surgery last week so he didn't train that much, but the type of professional he is, he works his socks off every week. He's got a personal situation that he will want to get right, get back in the swing of it and put some performances in like he has done over the last three years at this football club. I've got no doubt he will do that."