Trev: Onwards And Upwards

Trevor Sinclair says that topping last season's seventh place must be the aim - and that the players are already there to do it.

Trevor is training with a smile on his face after his World Cup exploits, a renewed contract commitment, and his prediction that the club is on the up and up.

"I am happy; it has been a busy summer but I have had the chance to look back and it was definitely a successful season for us," he says.

"We finished seventh, which is higher than I could ever have imagined us finishing, and we have signed some new players.

"I feel the club is definitely heading in the right direction again and that is why I am happy to stay - and I have signed a new deal, which is confidential between myself and the football club."

That Trevor asked for a transfer last season, which he subsequently withdrew, is well documented, but he insists that even when he did hand the request in, he continued to give of his best on the pitch.

He explains:

"The fans deserved that, as did my team mates; they are there week in, week out, training hard, and for me to have been going on the same pitch as them and just throwing in the towel would have been disrespectful to the players, the supporters, and the club as a whole.

"That wasn't what I was about, I just wanted to make my point clear; I think I did that, and in the process I put my name on the transfer list.

"But things didn't go as expected for the club as a whole; we far exceeded any success that I thought we could get last season, and that is down to the boys and the manager."

He sees the future in an optimistic light and reveals:

"I am happy with the club's ambitions now, and if that continues I will be delighted to stay at the club.

"One of the reasons why I decided to re-sign is definitely because we have kept the best players - that is where the future of the club lies, and if we can keep them it will be bright.

"It has been a worry to me and one of the reasons I put the transfer request in was because Frank and Rio left; I just felt like the club were selling the best players to just get by and do all right, whereas I believed we could do a lot better than that.

"We have got every chance now that we are keeping the players, which is what I believe is going to happen."

But Trevor, who wants to add more European football to his international experience, says he will certainly not settle for seventh again, and adds:

"I think we can improve on last season; everyone is saying that is as well as we could have done last time and maybe it was.

"But this season we have got players like Joe, Jermain, Michael, Fredi, who have had another year in the Premiership.

"Myself and David have had the experience of the summer along with Joe, and we have got young lads coming through - as well as everyone else who wants to prove themselves.

"I think it is looking very good for the club with some of the youngsters coming on like Richard Garcia, who has played some games over the last couple of weeks, and players like Glen Johnson."

And Trevor believes fans will see an improvement in his own form when the season kicks off against Newcastle - one of the sides, ironically, who were watching his situation keenly.

"I feel I have definitely improved as an individual," he insists, "so I am looking to do my stuff as soon as the season starts, and hopefully we can get a better start next year.

"That would give us a great opportunity and platform to look for better things next season than we did in the one gone.

"It took us a long time to get going and we still finished seventh, so if we can get anything like a decent start to add to something like the second half of the season last year, then we have every chance of finishing in the top five or six.

"I don't think there is any point aiming for seventh again next year because that wouldn't be an improvement; we have to aim higher and I think we have got the players to reach those goals."

Discussions with Glenn have confirmed that the club is looking to aim high, and he adds:

"I have spoken to Glenn, and his ambition, potential, and quality has never been in question with me; it has always been about the club and what ambitions they have because that was always going to be the only thing holding me back."

He is looking to cement his England place despite renewed competition next season, and adds:

"That is what it is all about; it is good that England have got players coming back, and it is going to make it interesting.

"I want to be part of it, and I am going to be doing everything in my power to make sure I am in the squad.

"It was a brilliant experience and I don't want to be looking at it from the outside thinking 'I wish I was back in there.'

"I am hungry for more success and to be in the European championship squad."

He hopes to be joined by, amongst others from West Ham, Jermain Defoe, and he says:

"I have got a really good feeling about Jermain this year; he has started preseason on fire and I don't see any reason at all why he can't break into the squad."

Trevor says he is fully refreshed by the break he has had - despite the gruelling trips around the world twice as he returned to the England squad after being on standby.

"I have definitely recovered, having had a break with the family, and I am looking forward to the new season. "But I didn't get to keep the air miles, unfortunately, so that was the down side.

"I know the club were getting good luck messages for me and that gave me a little bit more encouragement a long way from home."

He was criticised in some quarters - most particularly by Clare Balding in the Evening Standard - for returning to England, but he insists he has no regrets and says:

"It was an amazing experience, up and down from the last game of the season; first I was in the squad, then I wasn't, then I was on standby, then I was coming home, and then I was back in.

"After going through that it was just nice that there was light at the end of the tunnel in that I was able to get on and prove, I hope, what I could do at international level.

"I was looking to get home initially because I was the only person on standby and it was a difficult situation waiting for anyone to get injured.

"It wasn't me and I didn't feel comfortable in that position - it was quite draining on me mentally being out there, and it is not a nice position to find yourself in.

"My wife was ill as well, and I wanted to see how she was getting on; it was a good thing because I came home and recharged my batteries.

"Unfortunately Danny Mills got injured and I was asked to go back out there to be in the squad, which was a totally different situation to be in."

And the Brazil game which sealed England's fate?

"Goals change games and everything was going to plan until they scored their goal just before half time, which was a killer blow for us.

"We went in at half time trying to take stock of the situation, go out there, and try and get hold of the game again, and unfortunately they scored what can be looked upon a lucky goal.

"Whether he meant it or not, usually we would have expected David to have collected and in this instance he didn't.

"Then they got a man sent off and we found it difficult to break them down - but they are the world champions.

"If we could have held out until half time I think it would have been a different story, but that goal knocked the stuffing out of us a little bit.

"A couple of situations go through my mind that we could have made better, but at the end of the day they are not going to make it easy for us - and they proved in the tournament they are the best in the world.

"We have to accept that and strive for better things in the future.

"The injuries didn't help; people don't seem to mention Steven Gerrard being out and if he had been in it could have been a different story.

"But now it is time to look forward."