Chelsea midfielder Steve Sidwell is confident of filling Michael Essien's boots when the Ghana star leaves for the African Nations Cup in January.

The 24 year-old said: "I knew I'd have to bide my time and work hard to get a place in the team when I signed for this club from Reading.

"To be honest, I've had more chances so far than I thought I would but this is another to show what I am capable of.

"I know the previous manager had a slot in mind for me when some of the players were away at the African Nations Cup.

"When the new boss took over we had a chat and he said the same thing, so I am keen to get going as soon as possible."