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Last Updated: Friday, 10 August 2007, 10:51 GMT 11:51 UK
Sidwell keen to make Chelsea mark
By Mandeep Sanghera

Chelsea midfielder Steve Sidwell
Sidwell has no fears at taking the step up to Chelsea from Reading
Chelsea midfielder Steve Sidwell says he is determined to use the side's injury plight to help prove his worth.

Sidwell, 24, came on as a substitute in the Community Shield loss to Manchester United and insists he is ready to step up to the plate if needed.

"Of course," he told BBC Sport. "Not just me but everyone that steps into other players' boots.

"The boss has to have faith in us to do a job and once called upon we've got to take that opportunity with both hands."


He added: "If you do that you never know where that can take you."

Former Arsenal trainee Sidwell joined on a free transfer from Reading during the summer after his fine form helped the Royals to eighth in their first season in the English top-flight.

Sidwell has now moved into a house with his family and says he has now settled in at the Stamford Bridge club and is not worried at taking the step up to Chelsea.

"No, not at all," he said. "That's the challenge that I've come here for.

"If I'm pushing people for their places that's obviously going to make them play better and that's going to make the team play better so we'll have a good chance of winning things this year.

"It'll be disappointing if we don't."

The camaraderie and team spirit that we have is top drawer

Steve Sidwell

Chelsea had their Premier League crown taken off them by Manchester United last season and will start the new campaign against Birmingham on Sunday.

Manager Jose Mourinho has captain John Terry and striker Didier Drogba out, while several others are extremely doubtful.

Mourinho has brought in Sidwell, central defender Tal Ben Haim, left midfielder Florent Malouda and striker Claudio Pizarro to cope with the injuries which proved so costly last season.

And Sidwell, speaking at the launch of the Premier League Creating Chances community-based project launch, has been impressed by Mourinho in his short time at the club.

"The manager is fantastic," he said. "I can see now why there is a lot of hype about him being one of the best in business.

"From what I've seen of him just in this pre-season and the sessions he puts on is fantastic.

"The camaraderie and team spirit that we have is top drawer."

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