Leicester City defender Matthew Upson says ‘Defence the key to survival’

Leicester defender Matthew Upson

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Matthew Upson has suggested Leicester City’s Premier League survival hopes could rest on them improving as a defensive unit in their remaining games.

The 35-year-old former England international central defender joined the Foxes on a Bosman free transfer from Brighton last summer to add some experience to boss Nigel Pearson’s squad following their promotion to the Premier League as Championship winners.

Upson’s campaign has been hampered by an ankle injury he suffered in pre-season which left him sidelined until last Tuesday’s 2-1 Premier League defeat against his former club Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium when he finally made his long-awaited debut.

Upson stayed in the side for Sunday’s FA Cup fifth-round tie at Aston Villa and he felt the team’s overall performance warranted more than a 2-1 defeat.

It leaves the Foxes with just Premier League safety to aim for in their final 13 games of the campaign, with the club currently languishing at the foot of the table, five points adrift of safety.

Leicester are the joint second-lowest goalscorers in the league at the moment with 22 from 25 games, but Upson feels improving the defence, which has conceded 40 goals to date, could hold the key to staying in the top flight.

On the defeat at Villa, he said: “We limited their goalscoring chances. I think whenever you concede a goal you’ll be disappointed, but having looked at both goals, there are two or three small choices or tactical decisions that maybe we can look at, work on and improve as a team. It’ll hopefully make us a bit more solid.”

Leicester travel to Everton in the Premier League on Sunday and are 4.74 to pick up a much-needed three points, while the Toffees are 1.77 and the draw is 3.40.

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