Upson admits play-off emotions

Catania coach Rolando Maran is targeting a victory over

Sampdoria to help his side finish above Inter Milan this

season.

The Sicilians are just two points behind the faltering

Nerazzurri with three games of the season remaining, and despite

already achieving their objective for the season of avoiding

relegation, Maran wants his team to pull out all the stops for what

would be a “prestigious” ending to the campaign.

“Before our game against Siena I heard a lot of murmurings which

annoyed me, but we shut everybody up with a performance in line

with sporting morals,” he said at a press conference.

“I want to see this attitude against Sampdoria too. Delio

Rossi’s side will be very motivated since they need points to avoid

relegation, but we are fighting for a prestigious goal.

“That would be to break into the top eight of the league and we

will try to impose ourselves in Genoa.”

Sunday’s win over Siena took Catania to their highest ever

number of points in a season with 51.

“For us, this is like winning the title,” said Maran. “I am

proud to coach this team.”

Samp, meanwhile, have slipped to within six points of the

relegation zone and need at least one win from their remaining

three matches to be sure of their place in Serie A next season,

unless Udinese can do them a hand by beating Palermo on Wednesday

night.

“Samp are alive and I saw some positive signals,” said their

coach Rossi after the 3-1 defeat to Udinese on Sunday.

Rossi has kept his team in a training camp since last Friday to

concentrate on an important week.

“It is no punishment at all, it has been agreed on to keep us

all united in a moment when it is best we analyse everything

together,” he said.

Graham Alexander’s men finished a disappointing 13th in the

table, after appearing to be set for a play-off place for much of

the campaign.

One win in their last nine ended any hopes of promotion and the

axe has been wielded as the club plan for the 2013-14 campaign.

Youl Mawene’s playing contract has been terminated but he will

stay at Highbury as a fitness coach.

But fellow defenders Rob Atkinson and Kieran Charnock will leave

the club, as will midfielders Anthony Barry, Mozesh Gyorio, Jamie

McGuire, Jamie Milligan, Barry Nicholson and Liam Wynn.

Attacking quartet Andy Mangan, Richie Allen, Jean-Michel

Fontaine and Danny Rowe complete the released list.

Shaun Beeley and Jamie Allen have had their deals extended by a

further year, while Jon Parkin and Gareth Evans are still

negotiating with the club after their deals ran out.

New manager Wayne Burnett, who was given the job permanently

after completing the season as interim manager, has told Dominic

Green, Sam Williams, Kevin Maher, Andy Burns, Duran Reynolds and

Tom Davie that they will not be offered extensions when their

contracts run out in June, while Ben Strevens and Jonathan

Fortune’s short-term deals have come to an end.

Burnett told the club’s official website: “It was an extremely

difficult decision to make but I have a budget to work towards and

freeing up these wages will allow me to bring in a couple of my own

players for the new season.”

Midfielder Green rejoined the club in 2011, after originally

leaving for Peterborough in 2007, but managed just 10 league

outings this season.

Striker Williams scored 11 goals in 48 appearances during his

two-year spell at the club, while midfielder Maher managed just 18

appearances since he arrived from Gillingham in 2011.

Defenders Burns and Reynolds and midfielder Davie all failed to

make a first-team appearance at Victoria Road.

Striker Strevens scored once in 14 games after arriving in

January while defender Fortune made one substitute appearance after

joining in March.

Having been a crucial cog in the Yeovil side since joining three

years ago, Upson knows what the 2-1 aggregate victory over

Sheffield United means to the football club.

They are now just 90 minutes away from their first ever

promotion to the Championship, just 10 years after ending their

108-year non-league exile.

And the former Ipswich trainee admits his glancing header from

Paddy Madden’s cross was an emotional moment.

He said: “I could have kept running after that goal, I could

have run straight out the stadium and run home. There was a bit of

a tear in my eye. There were all sorts of emotions.

“I can’t get my head around it just yet, it is something I’ll

have to go home and sit and think about for a while.

“My first ever header was earlier this season against Wycombe in

the cup but they are a rarity and a great time to produce something

that rarely happens.

“It is the most important goal I’ve ever scored in the biggest

game I’ve ever played in, so to do that was special for me. I will

hopefully score a more important goal in two weeks’ time – the

winner.”

While Upson has chipped in with six goals this season his fine

through ball for Kevin Dawson’s opener was his tenth assist.

His role in both goals was the perfect response after Gary

Johnson’s disappointment at elements of his game in the 1-0 first

leg defeat.

“I remember the pass for the first goal clearly, that was really

satisfying and I loved it,” he explained.

“Kev made an unbelievable run which made my mind up about where

to put the ball. It was such a calm finish from him.

“The manager was a bit unhappy with something that happened on

Friday so to give him that sort of performance with an assist and

to score is the reaction he was looking for.”

Yeovil have reached the third tier play-off final once before,

under Russell Slade back in 2006/07, where they lost 2-0 to

Blackpool at Wembley.

And Upson paid tribute to the thousands of supporters that

invaded the pitch at the final whistle who are now planning their

trips to the capital looking to watch their side make history and

prove people wrong once more.

“It (the pitch invasion) was brilliant and ridiculous,” he said.

“I looked one way and was so pleased then I opened my eyes and the

next thing I knew there were 15 people in my face.

“To celebrate with them after the game was so good because they

were brilliant. Their support was really top notch and this is for

them really because they deserve it.

“We are just so confident to be honest. We know if we play our

game we are a tough match for anyone.

“I know it seems like we are a little club to the outside world

with one of the lowest budgets but look who we have proved wrong.

we are always favourites to go down and we are in the play-off

final.”