Albion's midfielder is ready to seize his opportunity.
Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Steve Sidwell is eager to stake his place in the starting eleven, but understands the importance of remaining patient when outside of the team.
The 33-year-old is likely to replace Dale Stephens against Sheffield Wednesday today, and expressed his desire to establish his place in central midfield for the Seagulls.
He said, “It doesn’t matter how old you are, you always want to play. Whether you’re in your 20s or 30s, mentally, you always feel you can perform.
“I came here with the mindset of wanting to play and I’m good enough to be in the starting eleven. If not, then that’s the manager’s call, but I know not to throw tantrums.
“You get on with it, help the team out and when you get the chance, you grab it with both hands.
“We’ve got a healthy squad and competition for places here, so if you do get injured, fall out of favour or you’re not in form, then someone else comes in and you’ve got to wait again.
“I think it’s important that if you’re not in the starting eleven, however disappointed you are, you play your role and give the boys the best encouragement to win the game.”
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The experienced midfielder believes Albion set high standards with their performances last season, and is satisfied with the way they’ve started this time around.
“When I came in, everyone was playing at their very highest in their personal games, hence the results, goals scored and the clean sheets being kept.
“It wasn’t as if every week there were four or five players that were playing fantastically well and the rest were average, they were all playing at their peak.
“We would’ve taken where we are now if you’d asked us, but it’s important we finish off this section with victory at Sheffield Wednesday, and then kick on to the next stage.”
Sidwell also hailed the positive atmosphere created within the playing squad, and urged his team to take their confidence into today’s game at Hillsborough.
“Everyone puts their shift in, you get some quiet ones, you get some loud ones, but on the whole, everyone is up and going round to encourage each other.
“This is probably one of the best team spirits within a football club that I’ve ever been involved in throughout my career.
“I put that down to the drive and hunger from the lads, who want to get to the Premier League.
“We’re in good form at the moment and the team’s in good spirits, so we go there full of confidence looking to win the game.”
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