Upson relishing Stoke challenge
Matthew Upson knows he faces a fight for a regular first-team spot but says the level of competition at Stoke formed part of its appeal. Centre-back Upson joined the Potters on a free transfer earlier this week after his deal at West Ham expired, penning a two-year contract at the Britannia Stadium. The 32-year-old will have to battle established stoppers Robert Huth and Ryan Shawcross for a place in Tony Pulis' side this term, as well as fellow new recruit Jonathan Woodgate. But the former England defender says part of Stoke's lure was the competitive nature of the squad. "You're gonna have your work cut out to get a place in the team," Upson told Sky Sports News. "That's an attractive thing about the club in a way, they've got great competition in that area. It's a test for myself." Upson feels there will be no shortage of chances for him to prove his worth, particularly with Stoke competing in the Europa League this season. He added: "One thing I will say is that there are plenty of games, with the European league. You've got your FA Cup ties, the League Cup, so there's plenty of games this season." Upson, who joins Stoke on the back of a four-year stint at Upton Park, says he expects his stay at the club to be long-term. Asked if he could end his career at the Britannia, he replied: "Who knows? It was important and I really had a desire to maintain a Premier League status and play in the Premier League. "I don't tend to jump about from here to there. I sign a contract and generally see it through. I hope to do that here as well." The defender suffered relegation from the top-flight with the Hammers last season but is keen to put that disappointment behind him. "It was very tough times. A very disappointing season all round," he added. "But you have to put that behind you as a player and try and move on and move to the future, which for me is at Stoke City, and I'm looking forward to that."
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