Upson out for Hammers

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Football News

Matthew Upson will miss West Ham's Barclays Premier League home match against Burnley after suffering a hamstring injury in training.

Fellow centre-back Danny Gabbidon, fully fit after an abdominal injury, should take the place of the England international at the heart of the defence, with midfielder Scott Parker taking over the captain's armband.

Forward Alessandro Diamanti is still out with a hip problem but James Tomkins and Mark Noble have been declared fit by manager Gianfranco Zola.

Winger Kieron Dyer has returned to fitness after a hamstring injury and played for the reserves on Tuesday but is unlikely to feature.

Zola insists Dyer will not be rushed back into the first team despite the club's perilous position near the foot of the Barclays Premier League.

It is the latest attempt by the former England midfielder to revive a career that many believe is grinding to a halt owing to the sheer number of injuries he has suffered in recent years.

Dyer has only started four matches for the Hammers since joining from Newcastle in August 2007.

He scored twice for the reserves in Tuesday's 5-2 win against Stoke and is pushing for a first-team recall in tomorrow's league match against Burnley at Upton Park.

But Zola maintains he will take things slowly.

"He's an important player and he's a quality player. It's good to have him back available," Zola said.

"When Kieron Dyer is fit he can bring something different but what we don't want right now is more setbacks.

"I don't want to put pressure on him. He's been out for a long time. I'm seeing him very positive, he's bright and he just needs to train a lot and be able to play to his standard for a long period.

"I don't think he will start but I have yet to make a decision."

West Ham are desperate to claim all three points this weekend as they look to pull clear of relegation trouble.

"It's obviously a big opportunity for us," Zola added.

"We need to get a victory. It's been a while since we had a victory so it's important and we know it.

"If we keep playing the way we have been playing and improve on certain things, we have a good chance."

Burnley manager Owen Coyle is pondering selecting the same starting XI for the fifth consecutive Barclays Premier League match.

The 11th-placed Clarets travel to east London with a settled side and no major injury concerns.

Burnley's absentees are due to long-term problems with midfielder Chris McCann and forwards Jay Rodriguez and Martin Paterson all scheduled for a return around Christmas.

Defender Tyrone Mears returns to former club West Ham hoping he will soon be eligible for England.

Stockport-born Mears has been tipped for a surprise international call by his club manager Owen Coyle but he is currently unavailable due to erroneously playing for Jamaica nine months ago.

The 26-year-old featured for the Jamaicans, then coached by former England international John Barnes, against Nigeria at Loftus Road in February despite having no links to the Caribbean country.

Former Hammer Mears was under the impression his estranged father was from Jamaica but has since discovered possible links to Sierra Leone.

Now he is attempting to have his international cap rescinded in the outside chance he catches Fabio Capello's eye in World Cup year.

"The problem is I am registered with FIFA as a Jamaican player, which shouldn't have happened," said Mears

"I don't qualify for Jamaica. You have to hold a passport to play for a country.

"Because it was a friendly I was told it wouldn't count and I didn't think it was a big deal but apparently it is.

"I've spoken with lawyers and we've written to FIFA and I think everything's going to be sorted out. At the minute I couldn't play for England.

"I have to send some information to the FA and once they've signed off everything it should be fine, so it should happen in the next few weeks.

"It is not really a big topic on my mind, the important thing is that I keep performing well for Burnley."

The Clarets are yet to win outside their Turf Moor stronghold but have been buoyed by the point claimed at Manchester City last time out.

"It's important that we go down there and play as we know we can," said Mears.

"It's going to be hostile. The fans down there make it tough for the away teams.

"The main thing for us, though, is that the manager creates an atmosphere of no fear. He wants you to go out and enjoy yourself and give everything.

"We are getting better away from home but but it's not about the performances, it's about the points."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Tyrone Mears
Matthew Upson
Stoke City
Maxi Rodriguez
Scott Parker
Manchester City
Jay Rodriguez
Premier League
James Tomkins
Mark Noble
Gianfranco Zola
West Ham United
Chris McCann
Kieron Dyer
Martin Paterson

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