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Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Upson calls on biomechanic for injury advice

Matthew Upson has taken up the advice of a South African specialist in biomechanics to do all he can to remain fighting fit for West Ham this season as injuries continue to pile up for Alan Curbishley.

The Hammers went down 2-0 at Premier League leaders Arsenal on New Year's Day, in a match which manager Curbishley described as 'one too far' over the hectic festive schedule that had seen them beat Manchester United last weekend.

Midfielders Scott Parker and Nobby Solano were both absent at Emirates yesterday having picked up knocks against United, while former Gunner Freddie Ljungberg lasted less than 40 minutes before he hobbled off with a hamstring problem.

Curbishley admits should the situation become 'acute' in any area, then he must consider strengthening during this month's transfer window.

Upson - who had a spell at Arsenal earlier in his career - has played in all of the 20 Premier League games so far, which has proved a welcome consistency in what has been a much-changed defence.

The England international, 28, revealed he has taken advice from an expert in kinesiology - the scientific study of muscles and movement in the body - in an attempt to keep in top condition for the battles ahead.

He said: 'I have played every minute in the Premiership. That is great and is something I was confident of doing.

'I have gone to the ends of the earth to search ways of getting my body on the pitch and I will do anything it takes to play and stay fit.

'I have got a South African doctor who specialises in kinesiology, but he applies it to sports medicine. He is fantastic and the best person I have ever worked with.

'I will do various things in the warm-up and during the week. It is just not before a game - he creates orthotics out of yellow pages which loads your body through your feet.'

Anton Ferdinand returned to the starting XI yesterday in another change at the heart of the West Ham defence.

Upson hopes to soon be able to establish a regular relationship in the central partnership.

'It is a bit frustrating but it is part of it. Whoever comes in, you have to form a partnership and understand each others game,' he said.

'It is important when you play as a centre-half that you understand your partner. It is very much a partnership as opposed to two central defenders. You have got to know how each other plays and when people go tight and you want to commit.

'There are various different things, but I know all four partners pretty well because I have had enough experience of all of them.'

West Ham had won two and drawn one from their last three games, but were facing an uphill battle when in-form Croatian Eduardo netted after just 70 seconds to put Arsenal in front.

An amazing finish from the tightest of angles by Emmanuel Adebayor made it 2-0 inside 20 minutes just when the Hammers had started to regroup, and from then on the match was pretty much over as a contest.

Upson reflected: 'It is frustrating because we didn't start the best and to concede against a team like Arsenal so early on is criminal from the way it happened.

'We slit our own throats in a way and we are all disappointed. But that is life and we learn from it.

'Our away form has been pretty good this season so we have just got to take it on the chin and move on.'

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