Sinclair Satisfied

Trevor Sinclair says he is enjoying his football as much as ever.

Although he handed in a transfer request earlier in the season, he has put thoughts of a move on the back burner as he concentrates on getting points for West Ham.

"I've always played with a smile on my face," he insists.

"There was some time when I was getting stick from fans, which I expected, but they understand the reasons behind why I put a transfer request in.

"I've made it clear I've got no other reason to leave West Ham than the reason that I stated at the time, which is to try and get European football.

"I will not take side steps and go to a club that is not in Europe or in a more advanced position to qualify for Europe.

"I'd be better off staying at West Ham where I am settled with all my team mates and I'm really enjoying it.

"The request has been rejected anyway so it's not a case of withdrawing it - I'm a West Ham player doing my best for the team."

Indeed, Trevor has not ruled out the chances of playing European football with West Ham again, and he adds: "We could get into those European spots ourselves but we must take it one game at a time - you might play Manchester United away and think you're lucky if you get a point there, and next week you play a team near the bottom of the league where you expect to get points and you don't get anything.

"We have got it all to play for and I suppose there will be a few more surprises this season - everyone can beat everyone this season and it is wide open.

"Even Spurs are possible championship hopefuls - that's how close it is and I wouldn't say Manchester United are totally out of it either, there is a long way to go."

Talking of the win at Old Trafford, where he played on the left, he says: "We all went out there with the right attitude and we got the right result and I enjoyed playing on the left. I have been doing it in training and with Don on the right we looked quite balanced.

"The gaffer knows that Don can play on the right as he did when he was at Sunderland, and he knows I have played there for England and will do a job wherever he asks me to play - I enjoy it.

"I think if we have a full strength squad the gaffer will be looking to play me there quite a bit this season.

"It helps with Joe being fit now, and we have virtually got a full strength squad to pick from apart from the long standing injuries.

"Against United, I thought we looked more solid and kept possession really well, which is good for the team. We held on to the ball which limited the opportunities they were creating, and frustrated them quite a lot by getting behind the ball.

"In the first half we created a couple of chances ourselves as well and I think we thoroughly deserved the win."

The idea of Trevor playing on the left was initially conceived to pit him against David Beckham.

The fact that his name wasn't on the team sheet did not affect the plan unduly, but Trevor admits: "I was surprised, but a lot has been said about Manchester United and I wouldn't want to go into what is behind him not playing in the last few games - all I can say is he is one of their best players."

Now attention turns to the Gunners, and Trevor adds: "Arsenal are in superb form; they came back against Aston Villa at Highbury really well and Thierry Henry is on fire at the moment - they have got a great squad of players.

"There are going to be a lot of individual battles and we have to try and make sure we win more of them - if you do that you've got a chance of winning the game."

Trevor knows that he will have to undertake defensive, as well as attacking duties at the weekend, and he says: "Defending is part of my game; you have to show a lot of energy on the pitch and be creative when you are going forward, which is what I hope to do again on Saturday."

He is hoping for a better start than the last time West Ham were at Upton Park, against Aston Villa, and he adds: "We found it hard in the first half and didn't give the fans too much to cheer; in the second half the crowd got behind us a bit more.

"We knew we'd given a bad performance in the first half; hopefully the fans can get behind us tomorrow.

"It should be a great day and let's hope we will be happy at the end of it."

The focus of attention regarding team selection is centred around whether Jermain Defoe will retain his place, with Trevor insisting his recent exploits will not go to his head.

"I can't see that ever happening to Jermain," says his friend, "he is a level headed guy.

"We have a good squad and it is a nice problem to have with Paul Kitson fit again. We are a little bit light in the midfield but fortunately we have got four lads fit - and let's hope we can stay fit."