Upson praises United front
Matthew Upson is impressed with the togetherness in the West Ham United squad after four wins in five
Matthew Upson was back in training with his West Ham United colleagues on Tuesday after being buoyed by the resilience demonstrated in Sunday's 3-1 win over Fulham.
For the second week in a row, the Hammers secured a positive result despite conceding first half goals and Upson said that showed the unity within in the group. After going a goal behind at Newcastle United and battling back to a 2-2 draw, the Hammers again found themselves pegged back as Paul Konchesky fired in a 30 yard strike to level Sunday's derby. However, a penalty from Mark Noble and a fine Carlton Cole goal in the second half paved the way for victory.
"I thought we were really impressive and we picked up well," Upson said. "It was good to see the players coming together and picking up a nice run so I'm really pleased. We've shown some good belief and we're sticking to what we believe in and the players and the manager have to take a lot of credit for that."
The England international is delighted to see the drills and exercises that Gianfranco Zola and his coaching team have introduced in training bearing fruit on the pitch. "Our behaviour in training, our attitude in training and the sessions that we do all add up to our performances at the weekend. When those sessions are executed properly you reap the rewards for it. I think we have done that over the past few months and we are starting to play more consistently.
"When a new manager comes in it takes time for everyone to adapt to his style and his culture that he has bought to the club. Not only are we now getting more points but we are playing in quite an entertaining fashion, we're trying to pass the ball and the fundamentals we are trying to do are right. Everyone believes in it and we're starting to get a few more points which is nice to see."
Upson was impressed by how well Cole and his strike partner David Di Michele - who had opened the scoring - performed together. He said: "David was very sharp on the first goal and read the mistake by [John] Pantsil very well and Carlton is on a good goalscoring run, so it was good to see. The strike force has to take it's fair share of goal responsibilities and you can't argue that they are not doing that at the moment."
Despite the excellent run in the league, which has lifted the side to eighth in the Barclays Premier League and just two points off seventh-placed Wigan Athletic, this Saturday sees a very different challenge in the shape of an FA Cup fourth round tie at Hartlepool United. For the 29-year-old Upson, it is just a case maintaining the same mental belief that has served him and the team so well in recent weeks.
"It will be a tough game and they are going to throw everything at us. We've just got keep the focus on winning. It's a nice habit and something you don't want to break so every game you go into, whether it's Hartlepool away or Arsenal away, you've got to have the same mentality and the same winning attitude and take it from there."
This is the second time i think he's been almsot giving a captains viewpoint on things, interesting.