That Sinc-ing Feeling

When he crashed home his third goal of the season against Blackburn Rovers at the start of February, things were certainly looking good for Trevor Sinclair.

With a mouth-watering FA Cup fourth round replay against Chelsea just around the corner and the possibility of another England call-up from Sven-Goran Eriksson looming large, life certainly seemed rosy for the 28-year-old.

However, after seeing his efforts end in cup disappointment against the Blues at Upton Park, Trevor was struck down by a severe case of flu that forced him to not only miss the away defeat at Bolton, but also pull out of the England squad to face Holland a few days later.

Now on the road to recovery, Trevor has been denied a comeback this week by a one-match suspension after he collected his fifth booking of the season in that 2-0 win over Blackburn at the beginning of the month.

"It's been a bit disappointing," says Trevor. "We went out of the cup to Chelsea, then I missed the game against Bolton and also missed the involvement with England. Now I'm suspended for the game against Middlesbrough, so all in all, after starting so well, February hasn't been a great month for me.

"I have been laid up in bed for a whole week and this kind of thing does make you realise how important your health is and that is the main priority. I've got a lot of work to do now because I missed a bit of training when I had the ankle injury at the end of January, so I need to get that sharpness back again."

Many Hammers fans were disappointed to see Trevor forced to pull out of the England squad, as it appeared he was in line for another opportunity on the left side of midfield and may also have made up a trio of Upton Park representatives alongside David James and Michael Carrick.

Says Trevor: "It was a good opportunity for me but you can't dwell on these things. That was just the way it went and my health is more important than anything else, so I just want to concentrate on getting fully fit again and giving 100% to West Ham for the rest of the season.

"To be honest, I would probably have been struggling for tomorrow's game anyway - I need a few more days training to boost my stamina and sharpness. I'm aiming to be back for the Villa game and then it is just a case of putting some hard work in for the rest of the season.

"We're determined to get into the top half of the table, and if we can do that soon and go on a little winning run, who knows what could happen?"