Upson shrugs off Sullivan slur
Hammers defender focused on survival bid
By Chris Burton. Last Updated: March 25, 2010 7:14pm
Upson: Basement battle
Matthew Upson has shrugged off criticism aimed at the West Ham players by co-owner David Sullivan.
The Upton Park supremo posted an open letter to supporters on the club's official website branding the performance in Tuesday's 3-1 defeat at home to Wolves as 'shambolic'.
That setback has left the Hammers sweating on their Premier League status with time fast running out on the 2009/10 campaign.
Upson, though, has shrugged off the comments as 'irrelevant' and insists the club must not allow off-field distractions to divert their focus from the task in hand.
"We're doing that and everything else is pretty irrelevant," said the England international.
"If David Sullivan wants to air his views on the club's website or in public then he does so - he's the chairman.
"I wouldn't say, from a player's point of view, that it helps. But we only concentrate on what we feel is wrong and how the coaches and manager assess the game, what they want us to do.
"And that's what we'll do, because they're in charge of the situation. They're the people we want to listen to."
West Ham now have seven games in which to secure top-flight survival, with pressure mounting on boss Gianfranco Zola, but Upson is convinced the team spirit around Upton Park will see them safe.
"It's testing times and it tests character, but that's something I think the manager has," said the centre-half.
"It's a big test for him at the moment but I'm sure we'll come out of it."