Matthew Upson wants West Ham to discover form that beat Manchester United

Matthew Upson has called on his West Ham team-mates to conjure up the same spirit which beat Manchester United as they look to take a step closer to Wembley in the first leg of their Carling Cup semi-final against Birmingham at Upton Park tonight.

The Irons may be fighting for survival after slipping back to the foot of the table, but Avram Grant's men have the chance to put their Barclays Premier League battles to one side when the Blues travel to east London.

Upson, who played for Birmingham from 2003 to 2007, believes if the Irons can produce the same form which saw them knock United out with a 4-0 thrashing at the Boleyn Ground on November 30, then there is no reason why they cannot start to dream of a first Wembley appearance in 30 years.

"Not only was it a great result, but it gave a boost to the whole club in every department," the West Ham captain said.

"With the way that things are right now, it would be a welcome relief to achieve something in the cup and making the final would be a top achievement."

Upson, 31, continued: "We need to look back at that Manchester United game.

"Our attitude was right, we did not let them settle and it is important especially at home that we set off with an aggressive attitude.

"If we do that we can upset people and get on top and a result."

Upson has been linked with a move away from Upton Park, although the England international is putting all thoughts of his own future and potential new deal with West Ham on hold until the summer.

"Nothing has been done and we will just see how it plays out this season," he said.

"The club are in quite a difficult position in terms of assessing where to head in the summer.

"Obviously a lot depends on their Premier League status and other issues. You can't possibly say what will happen.

"We spoke but it is in a position that is on hold and we will see how it plays out."

Grant has been left baffled by the continued criticism coming his way following three wins from the last six, a run which saw them move into the fourth round of the FA Cup and leaves them just two points behind 14th-placed Fulham in the league.

"We did a good few weeks so this is a strange situation, but sometimes we need to deal with things we don't like," he said.

"At Chelsea there were rumours from the first minute that I came in, but I decided then, as I decided now, to concentrate on my job because I ask this from the players.

"The players also sometimes they pay attention to other things, "but you have to pay attention to your job.

"Football is not a private game, there is supporters, there is players, there is board, the managers.

"The only thing you can do is focus on your job and do your job. You don't have control of the other things."