Upson happy with England form

Hammers defender optimistic on World Cup place

Upson: England hopes

Central defender Matthew Upson has revealed he is happy with his form for England in the build up to the World Cup.

Upson played in the 3-1 win over Egypt on Wednesday at Wembley and is widely expected to be on the plane to South Africa this summer.

It was England's final match before manager Fabio Capello names his provisional squad for the tournament in May, with Upson having started four of the last six international fixtures.

But with Capello focused on club form, the West Ham defender knows that while he is optimistic of going to the World Cup, that a slump in performances could change the situation.

"I've had many situations in the last 18 months where I've been able to come in and start for England," he said.

"That is all I can ask for at the moment - and I'm very happy about that.

"I think I've grown into things a little bit and improved being in and around the squad since Mr Capello has taken over. I feel he has helped me progress as a player.

"I'm enjoying playing matches. I feel part of the squad and team and I want that to continue.

"But that was the last game before we meet up for the World Cup and it is now a very intense period.

"Your domestic form between now and the end of the season has to be solid.

"Yes, I think there are a few people who are probably going to be in the squad.

"But, on the whole, everyone is aware if their form dips, the manager has got the capability to change things which is good for the players to know."

Muddy water

Rio Ferdinand and John Terry are still regarded as Capello's first-choice centre-backs, but Upson believes the form of fringe players will make the Italian's selection decisions difficult.

"I hope it has muddied the waters. I think that is a positive thing," he added.

"He'll have a picture of what he wants but there are so many people knocking on the door, it is great to have that situation going into a major tournament.

"Am I no longer a fringe player? There has been an opportunity and I'm determined to take that and grab it with both hands. That is my only objective.

"I want to go to the World Cup and play a part and I'll take every opportunity I'm given and try and grasp it with both hands."

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