sport

Sidwell chasing new contract

Steve Sidwell is hoping to end the season with Fulham still in the Premier League and with fresh terms on the table.

The experienced midfielder is among those set to be out of contract in the summer.

No extension has been put to him as yet, with Fulham's focus locked on a top flight survival bid.

Sidwell admits he will be doing all he can to convince new boss Felix Magath that he is worth keeping on and claims he has no intention of taking a step backwards, be that with the Cottagers or elsewhere.

The 31-year-old former Reading, Chelsea and Aston Villa enforcer told the Sunday People: "I can't contemplate life outside the Premier League.

"I started my career at Arsenal then took a few steps down the ladder to come back up. I played in the Championship for many years and know it is a tough, tough league to get out of. We don't want to be in that situation.

"I said in a meeting to the lads: 'It is not just about the Fulham badge any more, it is about the badge on the sleeve. It is not just you that wears it but other people who take pride in it'.

"Whether that be our kids at school, our parents or grandparents ... they all have association with that badge as much as we do. Everyone needs to take that on board and keep that badge on there for next year.

"There is no progress with my contract at the moment, which makes it even harder.

"I am obviously giving my all and hopefully showing the club what I am worth. I love it here. I was born not far from the training ground and all my family are around the area.

"When we finish playing football, the foreign lads can go back to their own countries but I will always be based around here. So if we go down it will always be me associated with it."

Fulham head into a Super Sunday clash with high-flying Everton sat bottom of the Premier League standings, five points from safety, but they have previous when it comes to steering clear of trouble - having beaten the odds back in 2008.

Sidwell added: "It's in our own hands. I am aware of what happened with the Great Escape season and (Danny) Murphy scoring in that last game at Portsmouth. You realise there is a chance to become a hero.

"I will give it my all and if I am instrumental in keeping us up, then that's great."