Upson's Wembley dream

Stoke defender desperate to reach final after past disappointment

Matthew Upson: Hopes to play at Wembley in the FA Cup with Stoke

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Stoke City's Matthew Upson has expressed his desire to play at Wembley following his near miss with West Ham last season.

The former Arsenal defender has played for England at the national stadium, but never with a club side, although he did come close with West Ham last season.

Upson hopes to realise his dream on Sunday as Stoke travel to Liverpool hoping to make the semi-finals, and he is relishing the opportunity.

Underdogs

He told The Sentinel: "We are the underdogs, but that suits us. The lads are revved up for another great FA Cup tie. It's a fantastic game and a great opportunity.

"I think we can take our game there. If we get among them and physically work very hard, then we have a chance of getting a result. We will absolutely have that belief, otherwise we might as well not turn up."

The 32-year-old was in the West Ham side that lost 2-1 to Stoke in last season's quarter-final, and Upson is desperate to make amends for the defeat.

Final hope

He continued: "I'd love to get to the final. I have been there as a passenger with Arsenal when I was younger, but I wasn't involved on the day. So the closest I have come at club level was when Stoke knocked us out last year.

"We had big problems at West Ham at the time and it was a relief for the players to play in a game that wasn't related to the league. But we were disappointed to lose."

Upson has not been a first-team regular for his side this season starting only seven of Stoke's 28 Premier League games, although he has been selected in cup competitions, something that he is hopeful will continue.

He added: "There's good competition and that's a great problem for the manager to have. That's the strength of this squad."