Birmingham boss Bruce writes off Upson's England chances

Birmingham City boss Steve Bruce has wrote off the England career of West Ham defender Matthew Upson.

Upson, 28 - he won the last of his seven international caps in November 2004 - returns to St Andrew's today for the first time since his £6million switch to the Hammers.

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And Bruce said: "When asked whether Upson could get back into the England side, my honest answer is 'I don't think so'. That is not meant to be disrespectful to the player.

"Where we are blessed in this country in that we have fantastic central defenders. Really good ones.

"The most important thing for Matt is to remain fit and get over his serious injury."

Bruce believes Upson has been forgiven for leaving the club in the lurch.

He said: "At the time I was disappointed. It was the timing, more than anything. It was the last day of the transfer window and I couldn't bring in anyone else.

"But, looking back, it was the right thing because Matt was injured and we took the money.

"Our fans are a hard lot to call but I think he will get an OK reception. We got a hefty profit and he did extremely well for us."