Sidwell happy with reborn Reo-Coker

28 October 2010 03:14
Steve Sidwell believes Nigel Reo-Coker is more likely to sign a new contract given the renaissance he is enjoying under Gerard Houllier.[LNB] Reo-Coker's days at Villa looked numbered only a few months ago after a training ground bust-up with previous manager Martin O'Neill.[LNB]But the former England Under-21 skipper has flourished under Houllier and has been given the captaincy during Stiliyan Petrov's absence through injury.[LNB]Reo-Coker is in the final year of his contract and Houllier has made it clear he wants him to remain on a long-term basis.[LNB]Sidwell said: "Nigel has done very well. He is a good player. He has shown that before. That is why he has come to this club.[LNB]"I remember his first season here, he did very well. We all know what Nigel has got in the locker.[LNB]"If you'd have asked anyone, even Nigel going into this year, whether he would be signing a new contract before Gerard Houllier took over, it would probably have been 50-50.[LNB]"But now, looking at the way he is playing, he is enjoying himself and it should be there or thereabouts done."[LNB]With Petrov and Fabian Delph both on the injury list and Mark Albrighton suspended, Sidwell and Reo-Coker are likely to be the combination for Sunday's derby clash with Birmingham.[LNB]Sidwell said: "Myself and Nigel go back a long time, obviously playing against each other from my Arsenal days and his Wimbledon days, and we used to play for the same borough.[LNB]"I've grown up knowing Nigel a long, long time. If we play together hopefully we can gel quickly and settle in and get results for the team.[LNB]"It is all about opinions. You don't play under certain managers. Under certain managers you do get a chance. Once you get a chance it is about taking it and staying in the team.[LNB]"At the minute we've got Stan (Petrov) out and Fabian Delph out, while Marc is suspended so we are a bit shy on numbers.[LNB]"But we've got enough quality in the team to dig deep and get us through it."[LNB]Sidwell insists Villa will be fully recovered for the derby clash despite needing extra-time to overcome Burnley in the Carling Cup on Wednesday evening.[LNB]The former Chelsea player said: "We knew it was going to be a tough game. As the game progressed with no goals going into the second half, we knew it was going to be tough.[LNB]"With the equaliser at the death, we knew we would have to go into extra-time and dig deep and we did that.[LNB]"It's not ideal before Sunday but we are fit, we are a young and vibrant team. We'll rest up and recover well in time for Sunday's game."[LNB]Left-back Stephen Warnock will return from suspension for the meeting with Alex McLeish's side at Villa Park.[LNB]But striker Gabriel Agbonlahor, right-back Luke Young and Petrov will all be missing through injury.[LNB]Houllier will also check on the fitness of striker John Carew who was a late withdrawal against Burnley through illness.[LNB]

Source: Team_Talk