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Saturday, 8 June, 2002, 13:57 GMT 14:57 UK
Sinclair loses direction
England's Trevor Sinclair inadvertently boarded the wrong team bus after the match against Argentina
Sinclair was a bit of a dope after his drugs test

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England's Trevor Sinclair made only one false move in the crucial World Cup triumph against Argentina - and ended up on the opposition team bus.

Sinclair played his full part in the 1-0 triumph in Sapporo that revived England's hopes of qualifying from the so-called "Group of Death" after replacing injured Owen Hargreaves in the early stages.

It completed a remarkable transformation in fortunes for Sinclair, who had flown home from the England camp only to be recalled when Danny Murphy was injured.

But he admitted he lost his sense of direction amid the celebrations and ended up on the team bus with the bitterly disappointed Argentine opposition.

He revealed: "I was rushing around and getting dope tested, and then when I was walking out of the stadium I walked straight on to the Argentina team bus.

"There were not too many smiles around when I walked on. Their guys were not too thrilled and I made a sharp exit."

A Japanese man reads a newspaper focussing on England's victory against Argentina
Sinclair has been making the front and back pages in Japan

It was a minor hitch on a night when Sinclair put recent disappointments behind him and cemented a claim for a starting place against Nigeria, with Hargreaves almost certainly ruled out with a shin injury.

He said: "I feel like I'm part of the squad now and I feel like I deserve to be there. I'm just looking forward to the next game now.

"I can't put into words how much it means to me to be playing for my country in the World Cup. I feel fortunate to be here and having an effect on the games.

"I was 25th man, the other people had problems and Danny Murphy pulled out injured. Ian Wright rang and told me it was fate - that I was meant to be here.

"Then Joe Cole has a slight knock and Owen comes off and the gaffer tells me to go on.

"I am just delighted to be here - to get on and play is even better."


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