Date: 8th October 2008 at 2:09pm
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Steve Sidwell is hoping to be in contention for the upcoming clash against fellow UEFA hopefuls Portsmouth.

Sid has definitely not really been well since joining the club from Chelsea, spending most of the time on the injury table. However, he stepped up his comeback yesterday in a behind closed doors reserve friendly against Leicester City and has now picked out October 18 as a potential first team return date.

Incidently, the friendly finished 2-2.

Speaking on the official site Sidwell is raring to go and is hopeful he can now start his Villa career properly.

‘I’ve had a game now and I’ll carry on training throughout the week and then maybe play a few reserve games.

‘There’s fitness there to recover so if it goes well hopefully I will be in the manager’s thoughts for the Portsmouth game.

‘But saying that, the lads have been doing terrific – not just in the midfield but everywhere – so it’s going to be tough to get in there. I will just have to bide my time and get on with it.

‘It’s been a real frustrating time. It couldn’t have happened at a worse moment – coming to a new club and obviously trying to impress in the early stages.

‘But it has happened, I’ve been mentally strong and I’m back now. I feel fine and fully fit and I am really looking forward to getting out there and getting amongst it.

‘We couldn’t really pinpoint what the problem was. It was basically a bit of bone bruising. I just had to wait for it to settle down.

‘We thought at first it would go but then it kept reoccurring. But that’s gone now.

‘I’ve never had injuries before, that’s what has been doubly frustrating. It’s been hard mentally but I’ve been strong enough to deal with it.’

With the resurgent form of Petrov and NRC playing out of skin, Sidwell will find it difficult to get back in the squad. But if nothing else with the current midfielders knowing he is just waiting for his chance, at least we will benefit from the competition aspects.

If we can get our hands on the fit Sidwell who destroyed us whilst playing for Reading, the slow start to his Villa career will have been worth the wait.