Steve Sidwell was pleased with Fulham’s professionalism in Ukraine tonight, explaining that the Whites needed to concentrate for the duration of their tough second leg against Dnipro.
Fulham took a 3-0 first leg lead to the Ukraine and reached the group stages despite a 1-0 defeat to Dnipro. Sidwell, who had a tough job quelling the creative Giuliano and Yevhen Konoplyanka in the middle of Juande Ramos’ five-man midfield, said the game was a real test for Martin Jol’s side.
We did the job in the first game. You’ve got to credit their [FC Dnipro’s] performance tonight, it was a great performance and we knew that we could expect a tough game. The main thing is that the result got us through and that’s all that matters.
Our game plan was to sit back but keep a good shape and keep compact. They had to come at us and we were going to catch them on the break. We said before the game, whether they scored first or we did, it’s about concentration for the whole game – we did that from the ‘keeper to the front men.
I’ll be interested to see who we’ll be up against next and where we’ll be travelling to – I think once we see that, then it will really start to sink in. Now we’ve got to concentrate on the Newcastle game, which is vital.
Sidwell shrugged off the difficulties posed by the trip to Newcastle in the league on Sunday, saying Fulham will be ready to face Alan Pardew’s side.
It’s just part-and-parcel of being a professional football player. Sometimes you can go a couple of weeks without a game and sometimes to get them in quick succession.
Again, it’s all about concentration, recovering right and being professional on and off the pitch. We’ll do that and will go up to Newcastle hoping to bring three vital points back. You want to get points on the board as soon as possible.