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Why Upson's experience can be valuable
Albion boss Gus Poyet believes the leadership qualities of Matthew Upson can help overcome the loss of Gordon Greer.
The character of Upson played a key part in the Seagulls signing the former England centre-half on loan from Stoke for the rest of the season.
Stoke manager Tony Pulis hailed Upson, captain when he was at West Ham, as a “fantastic professional” and “influential figure” in the dressing room.
Together with his top flight experience that made him the ideal choice for Poyet to help cope with skipper Greer’s absence from the next three games due to a hamstring injury and bolster Albion’s defence in their quest to reach the play-offs.
Poyet told The Argus: “He’s a Premiership player with plenty of experience of playing for top teams. He knows the game well, he has been fit for a few years now without any problems and he’s a good character.
“We’ve got good information about him in that respect, so I think he is a great option for us.”
Poyet has no qualms about adding Upson to a defence already brimming with players the wrong side of 30. He said: “The perfect situation is someone who has the whole package, someone who has played at the highest level, has the experience and is the right age and is a good character. Sometimes you cannot get everything, because that is very, very expensive.
“Matt has played at the highest level, the experience and the character is there. Nobody is going to lie, he is 33, but I think if everything goes allright he probably has a few more years in him.”
Two-and-a-half years ago Upson was scoring for England against Germany in the World Cup in South Africa. Poyet added: “Maybe people get carried away very easily and think we are now a top team but things are changing for the good and it gives us the chance to bring players like Matt Upson. I think it’s great for the club and the fans, a top defender who we hope can bring plenty of success to the club.”