Pards Purrs At Sublime Upson Performance

By Rob Cooper
Last updated : 02 November 2002

Matthew Upson
Matthew Upson
On-loan centre-back Matthew Upson put in another magnificent performance as the Royals defeated Millwall by two goals to nil.

Despite Millwall peppering Reading with pressure at times goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann barely had a save to make thanks to some great defending from the defence in general and Upson in particular.

Alan Pardew was delighted with the 23-year-old's performance, admitting that he'd love to keep him if the funds would allow him to.

He told readingfc.co.uk: "As a person and a player, the way he's carried himself here, you can se he's a Premiership player. I'd like to think if we've got ambitions to get there we've got to start looking at players of his type.

"We need to bring in top quality players, and Matthew Upson has been top drawer. When he leaves it will be difficult to replace him."

The former Luton Town man has been at the club for two months and has one more month of his loan spell remaining but Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger could recall him any day should he require him.

Pardew added: "I hope he stay's to the end of his loan because there's instant call-back on him now, Arsenal could take him back whenever they want.

"But I think Arsene Wenger is happy with his progress here, he knows Matty needs the games because he's had a lot of injuries."

Whilst Pardew would love to keep his loan star he admits that the current financial climate is likely to prevent him from doing so. Upson would cost a reported £3 million to tempt away from Highbury.

In addition, seven Premiership clubs are reported to be keeping tabs on the progress of the centre-back.

Pards commented: "I don't know if there's any chance of us getting him permanently, football never stays still. We're trying to run a tight ship here, and I don't have any transfer funds, but it might be that one moves out and one comes in."

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