Sincs Hopeful

Trevor Sinclair is hoping that, against the odds, the players can deliver the best of 'Get Well Soon' messages to Glenn Roeder from the Midlands on Sunday afternoon.

Last time Trevor was in that part of the world, he helped launch West Ham's revival by scoring the two goals that beat West Bromwich Albion, but a double for Trevor this weekend would simply be West Ham staying up and Glenn continuing his recovery.

"Obviously he has been in the back of our minds from the minute he went to hospital and no one likes to see what has happened to Glenn," says Trevor.

"He is a compassionate man and he has got a lot of respect from the players; and it is sad to see a friend or a manager or a colleague become ill."

Trevor is hurt, though, about suggestions that he or his colleagues are in any way responsible for Glenn having been taken ill and he adds:

"For certain papers to connect the two things of the gaffer being taken ill and lack of form or bad displays from certain players is disgusting - and that is where they have got to try and be sensible about it.

"A life was at risk at the time and they didn't know he was going to pull through it; to come out with some of the things they said, they should be ashamed of themselves.

"My name got mentioned as being part of the reason Glenn wasn't well, and it did leave a lump in my throat.

"I was pretty gutted that certain parts of the media had lowered themselves in that way; it is not very good and I don't think the game needs that kind of media attention."

Trevor heard on the same evening that Glenn was taken to hospital that he had been taken ill, and he says:

"After the game I was indoors with the family and it was very sad to hear; straight away I just wanted to find out the details and I was making a call to John Green to find out what was happening."

Trevor was happy for Paolo Di Canio to return to action in such dramatic circumstances against Chelsea - his first action since being substituted at West Bromwich, after which injury and illness played some part in his being out of action.

Paolo's disappointment at being taken off in that game has been well recorded but Trevor agrees with his caretaker boss that you have to "take the rough with the smooth," adding:

"He is an outspoken person and if he feels he has to get something off his chest he will do; sometimes people take that out of context or try and turn it around to make it very malicious, trying to get him into trouble one way or the other.

"But he has come on against Chelsea and hopefully has had something to do with West Ham staying up this year."

Paolo, who unfairly believes he has been painted as the villain of the piece too often this season, mentioned Trevor having been on the transfer list earlier last season as something which was overlooked.

His point was that, had that been Paolo on the list, he would have been pilloried.

But Trevor says candidly:

"I wasn't happy at the time and I thought the club had made a step backwards by selling Rio and Frank and losing the gaffer that had brought me to the club, and other things.

"That is why I put the transfer request in and if the fans can't understand that they don't understand professional footballers.

"I wanted to progress in my career, and at the time I didn't feel I could do that at West Ham, but I put pressure on myself by putting the transfer request in.

"The club decided that they wanted to keep me though, they talked to me and let me know the club were going in the right direction, and I decided to sign.

"But this is just normal day in, day out work for a manager at a club, and I don't think Paolo was trying to dig me out in any way.

"He spoke to me in the dressing rooms and I said 'no problem, Paolo' because I trust that he is not going to dig me out."

But Paolo could have been forgiven anything anyway on Saturday as, with another of those deft touches he makes look so simple, he scored the winning goal against Chelsea.

While it might not have been as spectacular as his efforts at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season, to have called it a 'tap-in' as one report did is surely to do Paolo a disservice.

"I don't think Shakespeare would have written a better script for himself and a lot of the lads were saying Paolo was odds-on favourite to come on and score the wining goal," says Trevor.

"He has been amazing for West Ham and it was nice to see him on the pitch, being part of it, making possibly his last appearance at Upton Park.

"For him to finish the game with the only goal is typical of the man and he was so emotional after the game.

"He has been out in the cold for one reason and another for too long for a player of his brilliance, and he was sobbing his heart out after the match.

"I have been here for the whole time he has been at the club and I have seen a side of him that is compassionate - and passionate about the game."

The victory gives West Ham just a glimmer of hope for the last day of the season, and Trevor adds:

"It was a great win and we showed great character against a Chelsea side that didn't come to put us down, but to get the result that they needed.

"Full credit to the lads, they battled away, created three or four good chances, limited them to just a couple - and I think we deserved to win.

"Players were tired and didn't perform as they know they can in the early part of the season, which is why we find ourselves in this situation, but I think everyone is battling together to try and get the right result and make sure this great club stays in the Premiership."

As for the alternative, he adds:

"It is something that I don't even want to think about; we have kept a positive attitude over the last two or three months and the acquisition of Rufus Brevett and Les Ferdinand has paid dividends - they have both been outstanding for us and have had a lot to do with why we have been picking up three points here and there."

But would players move on if the worst was to happen?

"We are not even contemplating that; we are just going in to the last game though unfortunately we have to rely on Middlesbrough."

But to go down, if West Ham beat Birmingham, with 44 points would be something of a travesty, wouldn't it?

"You'd like to think so but with Bolton getting a draw at Southampton, if they win at the weekend they will have 44 points with a better goal difference, and even if we won we would go down.

"I think anyone looking from the outside seeing a club go down with 44 points would have to say they were unlucky."

Trevor makes an interesting point about the acquisition of Rufus and Les, and since the arrival of Rufus, partnered with Glen Johnson in the other full back position, results have certainly picked up.

In 13 games with those two, 6 clean sheets have been picked up as opposed to 3 in 24 previously - a ratio of 46% compared to 13%, and a win ratio of 54% as against 13%, bringing in an average 1.8 points per game as opposed to the previous 0.7 and average goals conceded down from 1.96 to 0.77.

But that is certainly no disrespect to others who have played in the full back roles this season, and, of course, the bare statistics do not take into account the many other factors which influence results.

But it does suggest that the pair have settled in to their defensive duties quickly and efficiently.