Steve Sidwell has warned his Fulham team-mates that Chelsea will not be taking their Carling Cup tie lightly, even if Andre Vilas-Boas picks a shadow side for Wednesday’s local derby.
Sidwell, who is now a key part of Fulham’s midfield, spent a year at Chelsea and remembers the pressure that came with being in the Stamford Bridge set-up. With Vilas-Boas keen to bounce back from Chelsea’s defeat at Old Trafford and the weekend and the need to win some silverware in his first season with the club, Sidwell expects that his former club will be psyched up for the derby.
They definitely won’t take it lightly. It’s only five games and you’re in the final and when I was there, Jose Mourinho always said it’s silverware and a good day out for the fans. He wanted to win it for the supporters and it’s going to be the same under this management. Any sort of silverware is important
Going from a club like Reading to a superstar place like Chelsea was an eye-opener but it was great and I loved every minute of it. It did take a bit of getting used to. At Reading we’d just been promoted to the Premier League and were a Championship team trying to establish ourselves as a Premier League team.
The pressures were greater because you have to win every game, it’s as simple as that. When they are spending that sort of money, they expect you to win things and to do it week in, week out and that pressure drives players on.
At Chelsea, it was a place full of big names, but all of them were very good to me. I learnt lots in training and some of the professionals there were the best I’ve worked with. It was a joy to be there.
I never had any regrets going. I felt I came on in leaps and bounds there, being in and around top class people day in, day out.