Sidibe on mission to prove his Premier pedigree

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Mamady Sidibe is refusing to rule out a permanent move to Sheffield Wednesday after finally ending his injury nightmare.

The 33-year-old striker was sent out on loan by Stoke City to help regain his fitness after two years decimated by a succession of injuries.

He looked ring-rusty on his arrival at Hillsborough, but scored the winner against Bolton Wanderers on Boxing Day and is getting fitter with each passing week.

His Hillsborough loan spell expires after next weekend’s game with Wolverhampton Wanderers but Sidibe admits that if he cannot force his way into Tony Pulis’s first-team plans at Stoke he would have to consider his alternatives.

After two years sidelined by injury, all Sidibe wants is to play football.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” said the Mali international. “I am here on loan and just concentrating on playing and doing my best.

“What is going to happen in the future is not in my hands really. The only thing I can do is keep playing and give my best to Sheffield Wednesday while I am here.

“I need to play football. I have been working hard to get back my fitness levels and getting in the Stoke squad.

“But if I can’t be in Stoke’s squad I need to go and play football. I have been out for so long, I just can’t sit and watch games.”

Sidibe believes he is winning his battle to regain match fitness but says: “It’s either playing too much or not playing enough, so, for me, I need to find the balance.

“I have been out for a while. Playing in the Championship is very high intensity, I think it’s more difficult to play than in the Premier League.

“It’s not easy. The last two teams we played, MK Dons and Burnley, they both keep the ball well so we have done a lot of running.

“It’s hard when you have been running a lot, then receive the ball, you are spent. That’s what’s happened. In the last two games, we have run more than we have played our football.”

Today, the Owls travel to an in-form Hull City with few outside of Hillsborough tipping an away win.

But Sidibe believes seven points from their last three away games proves the Owls have developed a mean streak on their travels.

“We have proved we can win games, especially away from home,” he said.

“We played some good games in winning at Barnsley and Bolton, even Huddersfield I think we should have won because we had a lot of chances.

“We have proved we can win games away from home and we go to Hull with no pressure on us. Nobody gave us a chance going to Bolton, and I believe it will be a good game.”

For Sidibe, though, he is just relieved to be back playing after coming close to quitting the game after his injury troubles.

“For me it’s not been easy,” he admitted.

“As a footballer you want to be on the pitch, not doing rehab all the time. Just coming back, playing on the pitch was fantastic. The goal at Bolton was even better.

“There is aways the fear of getting injured again, somewhere in your head, but as soon as I get on the pitch I can forget that a little bit.”