Steve Sidwell was delighted to pull on an Aston Villa shirt for the first time in yesterday's 1-0 friendly defeat to FC Zurich.

The ex-Chelsea midfielder told "It was a hard workout and it was great for me to get 45 minutes under my belt and I'll look for a bit more in the next couple of games.

"I flew out yesterday and met up with the lads at the hotel last night. Then I was quickly into a game and it's onto the training ground next before another game.

"It's all about fitness at this time of year and we need to get that quickly because we've got a big game next weekend. Hopefully we can step things up in midweek and move on from there."

Sidwell concluded: "Today it was just nice to be out on the pitch. It's been a long saga and there's been a lot of waiting around for me. Now I just want to get on with playing for Aston Villa."