Date: 8th September 2008 at 4:34pm
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As those will have seen from the Reserve article today, Steve Sidwell is not playing for the stiffs tonight.

It’s quite a curious omission, as earlier in the day Sidwell said on the official site:

‘It’s been a frustrating way to start my Villa career but if anything it’s made me hungrier than ever to do well here.

‘But we’ve got a long season ahead of us and the last thing I wanted to do was come back early and then break down. That would have been a silly thing to do.

‘I’m a really bad watcher of games. Don’t get me wrong, I watch the games and obviously I want the boys to play well. But I don’t like being up in the stands and it’s difficult.

‘But watching the games has given me the chance to see just how good a side we are. We’ve made some great signings this summer and we have a lot more options now. What we’ve seen so far, for this stage of the season, is very good and very encouraging.

‘I was the first signing of the summer and the new players coming in since have given the dressing room a real buzz. We’re all very optimistic and I feel we’re good enough to be competing up there this season.

‘The quality of the players we’ve signed doesn’t surprise me. When I sat down and spoke to the manager and heard the way he and the chairman wanted to take the club, there was only one way that could be done.

‘That was obviously dipping into the market and spending big. They’ve done that and now it’s just a matter of getting on with it.

‘We knew we needed a bigger squad this season to do well at home and in Europe. The way things have panned out, we can reach heights that this club has done before.

‘I know I have to fight for my place but that’s a good thing. As a football player you don’t want to be complacent and expecting to start week in, week out. Your want that competition there that keeps you on your toes and makes you train hard every day.

‘I’m ready to fight for my shrit and so are the other lads. That should mean everybody is on form and working hard in training every day. That can only be good for the club.’

The article lead in explains that Sidwell was looking forward to the reserve clash as a chance to get another 90 minutes of match fitness and sharpness behind him, so he could at least put himself in contention for the upcoming first team matches.

There’s no word on why Sidwell isn’t included, so you have to hope he hasn’t majorly broken down or suffered another injury. Either that or you hope it’s a typo on the official site, and they were handed an incorrect team sheet.