Upson - Adversity brought us closer
Defender Matthew Upson is confident the rumour and speculation surrounding the England camp in recent days will simply serve to strengthen their resolve.
Their 1-0 victory over Group C rivals Slovenia came after former captain John Terry sparked talk of rifts within the camp. However, there was no lack of unity on Wednesday, and Upson believes a stronger bond has been formed.
He told BBC Radio 5 Live: "You can use all those things and use all the rumours and all the accusations as fuel to improve and succeed. That's something we have improved on as a team and I think we can still get better at it."
He continued: "It's the key to winning, for me. Forget everything else, tactics, the lot - it is about you as human beings and people and what you are willing to commit and your attitude, and I thought we did that really well."
England's joy was partially tempered by the news of the USA's late winner against the Algerians in Pretoria, a goal which saw them top the group and pitch Capello's men into a potentially epic battle with old rivals Germany in Bloemfontein on Sunday.
But West Ham defender Upson is not unduly concerned at the prospect. Asked if it mattered his side had not won the group, he replied: "To me it doesn't, personally.
"Some people say you need the best route to the final, which you would agree with - you want to play as weak teams as you can.
"But eventually, you are going to have to beat the best teams and Sunday will be a great opportunity for us to go into another situation where it is a win-only opportunity.
"That doesn't bother me."
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