Date: 28th August 2008 at 3:48pm
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Carlos Cuellar and Steve Sidwell will both be back in training before the week ends.

Cuellar has in fact returned to full training already and although he is not eligible for tonight’s clash against that Icelandic team (you know the one, that one I still can’t spell) it is likely he will be fit enough to be considered for the Liverpool clash at the weekend.

Speaking on the official site, Martin O’Neill said of Cuellar:

‘Carlos is making really good progress. He’s trained with us over the last couple of days and has done a lot of running as well. So he’s going to get his full week’s training in.

‘Obviously he’s not available tonight because he arrived after the deadline to register players for the UEFA Cup second qualifying round.’

Stevie Sidwell however hasn’t yet returned to full training, but it’s expected he will be back flying at Bodymoor Heath by the weekend.

O’Neill continued:

‘Steve Sidwell is doing pretty well. But it feels as if I’ve been saying that for the last 10 days. He’s coming along nicely and I think he will probably be able to join in with us towards the end of the week.

‘We’ll not rush him. We don’t want a group of players who are only half fit going into the months of September and October.’

The potential availability of Cuellar will be a big boost to our defence, but it has to be said he will also need time to adjust to the Premiership style and get to gell with his teammates.

We shouldn’t expect our defensive worries to disappear overnight just because he is available.

The return of Sidwell will be a definite bonus to our midfield, especially if he can regain quickly the sharpness and fitness that saw him destroy us only a few seasons ago.