Fulham's Sidwell forms formidable partnership with Karagounis

Ian Walton

Our 'Ginger Iniesta' tells the official website of his admiration for the Greek international

These are happy times as Craven Cottage right now, having not lost in four matches and only conceding two goals in the process.

Steve Sidwell has been present throughout this upturn in form, developing a formidable partnership with Giorgos Karagounis in central midfield.

Sidwell, now 30, sits a little deeper than his Greek team mate, protecting a back four that, recently, has looked impenetrable. While it's that rear line that will receive the credit, though, something must be said for the role our Ginger Iniesta plays.

He's no traditional defensive midfielder and yet he still ticks all the boxes. The former Chelsea man is resilient, strong in a tackle and tactically aware of an opponents' movement.

And he's not afraid to admit that, individually, his performances have been of a particularly high calibre.

"I'd say that probably throughout the whole season I've been happy with my form and the team's form in the games that I've played," the midfielder told fulhamfc.com.

"It's important now as we approach the final run-in that we keep that consistency up and then finish on a high."

But Sidwell knows that a lot of credit must go to Karagounis, too. The 36 year-old has proved himself invaluable to Fulham, demonstrating a work rate you wouldn't expect in a 25 year-old, never mind a player that is, undoubtedly, in the twilight of his career.

"You can always learn from players like Giorgos," Sidwell continued.

"He's been around the block, he's the highest-capped player for Greece, he's played in big competitions and he's won big competitions.

"Playing with him has been great, as well as it obviously has been with the other players that we've got. We've got experience throughout the team and that's great to learn from.

"Giorgos is playing well. He's come in and some people probably raised an eyebrow because of his age but obviously his quality's showed and that's the most important thing. If you're doing well on the pitch then you're going to keep playing, and he's done that."

And long may it continue. This time last year, if the proposition was put forward that Moussa Dembele and Danny Murphy would leave, as well as Mahamadou Diarra being struck down with injury, many would have written off our season some time ago.

But Sidwell and Karagounis have held fort superbly and, thanks to some decent results of late, are being noticed for their worth.

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