Pards Unconcerned About Losing Upson

Last updated : 02 December 2002 By Rob Cooper
Matthew Upson
Alan Pardew believes the Royals can cope without Matthew Upson
Twenty-three year old centre-back Upson will play his last game in the blue and white hoops of Reading on Saurday when the Royals take on league leaders Portsmouth.

The former Luton man has played thirteen times during his three months at the club, in that time the team have conceded just six goals, helping to propel them to an impressive fifth place.

Despite the fact that yhe winning run has coincided with the introduction of Marcus Hahnemann to the team, there are fears that the clubs form could tail off after Upson has made his departure.

In order to maintain the lofty fifth place it had been rumoured that Chairman John Madejski was set to shell out a seven-figure sum to keep the 23-year-old with Reading.

Manchester City and Newcastle have reportedly expressed an interest in signing the much-coveted centre-back, making a permanent deal with the Royals look unlikely.

However, manager Alan Pardew believes his side will have no problems defending without Upson.

The Royals boss told the Reading Chronicle: "On December 7, we'll shake hands with Matthew Upson and go our separate ways. He's done a terrific job since he came here and I'd like to think we've helped his career too so we'll all go away happy.

"We've got some good players here too and my captain, John Mackie, isn't even in the team at the moment. I'm not overly concerned because I think we already have enough in our squad."

In addition Reading will be boosted by the return to fitness of Adie Whitbread who is in the final stages of his rehabilitation from a serious knee injury.