Upson urges fans to get onside

Matthew Upson has admitted players' confidence can be badly dented if their own fans start to jeer them.

England team-mate Ashley Cole was booed at Wembley on Saturday following a blunder which gifted Kazakhstan their goal in a 5-1 World Cup win for the Three Lions.

Coach Fabio Capello claimed he "did not understand" why an individual was being singled out for criticism, while stand-in skipper Rio Ferdinand went even further, suggesting the fans responsible "should be ashamed of themselves".

Upson, who was winning his 10th cap in the absence of John Terry, was equally unhappy, adding his voice to the argument, feeling that by isolating Cole, the England fans were only going to make the full-back perform even worse.

"It is the fans' right to do what they want," said Upson.

"No-one is asking them to come and clap for 90 minutes. But mistakes happen and it doesn't help when the fans jump on someone's back.

"Without doubt it can affect players' confidence.

"But part of being an elite sportsman is reacting when you make mistakes.

"It is something everyone has to do and Ashley knows that.

"He will cope with it mentally. I spoke to him afterwards and he was fine."

Ironically, Upson does feel that, as a collective unit, the England side may have benefited from the negative reaction.

In such circumstances, the team tend to unite behind a common cause, forging a bond that cannot easily be broken.

"It is difficult," said Upson.

"It can affect the whole team but in a way it can be positive as well because it makes you pull together.

"It is natural for the fans to expect a lot from the team. We have one of the strongest groups of players in the world. We play in fantastic stadiums. There is a pressure and expectancy on us.

"We have to cope with that. The players would just ask the fans not to get too carried away. We are still in the process of learning what the manager wants. Results have gone well so far, so what happened was very unfortunate."

Whilst the abuse was not racially motivated, it was a reminder the England fans are not squeaky clean when it comes to abusing players.

However, it is unlikely an opposition team would request a friendly fixture not be held at Wembley due to supporter abuse.

That is the case with Spain, who should be taking on England next February in a friendly, but not in the Bernabeu stadium in Madrid.

With memories fresh of the racist abuse directed at Cole, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Jermaine Jenas, Jermain Defoe and Rio Ferdinand in 2005, the FA have demanded the game be played away from the Spanish capital.

Seville, Valencia and Santander have all been mentioned as alternative venues although, as yet, there is no agreement.

But Upson feels the general point of England not wanting to play in the Spanish capital is perfectly reasonable.

"I was at that game," he recalled.

"I remember the racist chanting and it was not very pleasant.

"If that decision has been made, it just proves people will not stand for it any more.

"If we have to get a game moved because of the racist environment then we will. It is a positive step towards stamping it out."

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
art
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine