Date: 6th July 2016 at 5:02pm
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With the players back in pre season training, midfielder Steve Sidwell has revealed he played on with a knee injury at the end of last season, but the issue has fully cleared up over the summer.

Speaking to the Official Site with the players away on their Tenerife training camp, the former Stoke City man explained that he picked p the problem in the first half of the semi final play off tie against Sheffield Wednesday.

‘It was tough; in the first game I knew when I went up and clashed with the keeper, that it was something serious. I tried to go through it and got in at half-time, which is sometimes the worst thing because it stiffens up. I knew for the sake of the team that I had to come off in the second half, which for me to say that, was very tough. Then I had two days’ recovery time, with a lot of painkillers and drugs, lots of rehab done with the physios and doctors. They did magnificently well to get me out on the pitch and actually looking back on it and talking to the staff now, God knows how I played that game.’

He went on to say.

‘Sometimes it happens and it was a bit of a gamble really. I sat down with the gaffer beforehand and I said, ‘Look I’m not 100%, I feel good at around 90%. If you want to put Crofty or Richie Towell in, then that’s cool, but I’m putting myself down to play.’ It was important for me to play well because if I was going to leave, I wanted to end on a high note, but I wanted to put in a performance that was going to stick in the mind of the manager, the board and the chairman to say he’s someone good around the place that we can have for next season.’

With a double promotion disappointment last season, Sidwell’s words about using that as a motivation this coming year are well known, and in this interview he wanted to talk about the performance of the fans as something that will stay with him.

‘We came out the blocks and the fans and the atmosphere was incredible. Even now, you just get goose bumps talking about it, it was just a one-off feeling. How we just got the one goal in the first half is beyond me. Brighton fans probably got together and thought, they got behind their team, we need to do it with ours. That really did drive us on and it was just a shame because we as players wanted to do it for the fans and the football club. We missed out by just a whisker, but this year we`ll hopefully go that one step beyond.’

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