Fulham midfielder Steve Sidwell has admitted he it hungrier than any other player ahead of a London derby against former employers Chelsea, and is delighted to be playing first team football again.
Sidwell moved to Craven Cottage in the January transfer window after an unhappy spell with Aston Villa, a club he joined from Chelsea in 2008.
The 28-year-old has slotted in to the Fulham midfield admirably after only playing 120 minutes of football for Aston Villa this season prior to his move.
“I don’t think you’ll find a player hungrier than me to get back playing again," Sidwell told the club’s official website.
"I’ve been given an opportunity and game-by-game I’ll make the most of that chance and put in good performances for the Club.
“It’s the feeling I wanted to get back. I want to feel drained and tired coming off the pitch after a good win and feel that satisfaction.
Buoyed by completing 90 minutes in each of Fulham’s last three games, Sidwell is confident his level of performance will continue to improve, and in doing so, strengthen the Cottagers finish to the season.
"It’s going well so far but there is still a lot more to come from me. I’m getting fitter and stronger game by game. I’m about 75 per cent right now,” added Sidwell.
“It’s just about being out on the pitch in a game situation but as I say, I’m getting stronger every game. I just want to put in the performances that the manager and fans want to see.”
Having stood out during Reading’s opening season in the Premier League, Sidwell moved to tomorrow night’s opponents in the summer of 2007 but never threatened to hold down a regular first-team place and recognise his potential.
“It didn’t work out the way I wanted it to at Chelsea, but in the year I was there, I made a healthy number of appearances," added Sidwell.
"I didn’t come home with any silverware but in terms of experience, on and off the pitch, it was fantastic.
“The reason I left Chelsea was to go and play football but it didn’t work out at Villa and the same situation occurred. I left Villa to come and play football and it’s working out.
Fulham and Sidwell will hope the move continues to work out tomorrow evening as they go in search of their first win in 10 outings against their local rivals and a spot in the top 10 of the Premier League.