World Cup chance everything to me, says grateful Upson

ENGLAND and West Ham defender Matthew Upson is set to get another chance to impress against Andorra tonight &ndash; but admits his mind is already wandering to next summer&rsquo;s World Cup finals.<br /><br />Upson had to wait later than most for his career to blossom, with injuries and competition for places curtailing his progress at Arsenal.<br /><br />But the 30-year-old has flourished at Upton Park, establishing himself as a regular member of Fabio Capello&rsquo;s England squad.<br /><br />And having at last fulfilled his early promise, Upson is desperate to maintain his progress and play a part at the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.<br /><br />&ldquo;It would mean everything to me to get to the World Cup,&rdquo; said Upson, who is expected to partner John Terry in defence, with Rio Ferdinand still injured.<br /><br />&ldquo;It is something I have dreamt of for a long time and have worked hard towards over the last four or five years. This has been the best season of my career to date, I have played the most games for England and developed well, so I am very positive about next season.&rdquo;<br /><br />While Upson&rsquo;s career has developed under Capello, Emile Heskey&rsquo;s has been reborn. The Aston Villa striker returned from more than three years in the international wilderness under Steve McClaren&rsquo;s doomed tenure, and has become a first-team regular under the Italian. <br /><br />But despite appearing to be discarded after Euro 2004, Heskey insists he refused to accept his England days were over.<br /><br />&ldquo;I never thought my international career was over,&rdquo; said the 31-year-old. &ldquo;You just have to focus on playing well for your club. Once you&rsquo;ve done that, you don&rsquo;t know what&rsquo;s going to happen. I got a taste of it before and I am enjoying it now.&rdquo;<br />