Upson: No rift with Bruce
By Simon Fudge
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Matthew Upson insists his relationship with Birmingham City boss Steve Bruce is 'fine'.
New West Ham United signing Matthew Upson insists his relationship with Birmingham City boss Steve Bruce is 'fine'.
The former Luton and Arsenal centre-back caused acrimony at St Andrews following his £6million move to The Hammers on transfer deadline day last week.
The England international's move to Upton Park caused Bruce and Birmingham's managing director Karren Brady to express their displeasure regarding the defender's departure from the Championship side.
Upson claims both he and Bruce remain on good terms following his return to London with Alan Curbishley's side.
"My relationship with Steve Bruce is fine. I've spoken to him," Upson said.
"We thanked each other for the last four years at Birmingham and we both move on.
"There is no animosity there. I know his gripe is with the Blues board and that's what he told me.
"I hope West Ham play Birmingham in the Premiership next season. That would be ideal."
Upson is sweating over a calf injury picked up on his West Ham debut at Aston Villa on Saturday.
"I just hope my calf injury is not too bad," he added.
"I leapt high and just landed off balance and put too much stress through my right calf and it just tightened up.
"There is no major problem, just a tightness of the muscle.
"We will see how it is after the weekend and hopefully, the results of the scan will show it's not a big issue and it will settle down."
Meanwhile, Birmingham chairman David Gold has amazingly claimed that the club was forced to sell Upson - amid fears he may not give his all for Blues, had he stayed.
"We feel that maybe he would not have given his all," Gold told Five Live's Sportsweek programme.
"Players under-perform when they have things on their mind and Matthew could easily have fallen into that category.
"We desperately wanted to keep Matthew Upson, the consummate professional who had played for Birmingham for four years and did a magnificent job.
"But that is my point. That was the Matthew Upson we wanted to keep - what we couldn't keep was the Matthew Upson of the final two weeks, who was calling David Sullivan saying 'please let me go, let me go'.
"We also had his agent bombarding us with calls and in the final analysis, we felt it was in the best interests of Birmingham City to let him go.
"Do you want a player at your club who really does not want to play for Birmingham and who desperately wants to leave?
"It is uncomfortable when that player is in your midst."