Edwards: Good to Be Back Out There
Friday, 16th Aug 2019 13:05
Gwion Edwards is hoping he has finally overcome the groin injury that not only saw him miss the climax to last season but also the opening two games of the current campaign.
Absent from the League One clashes at Burton and at home to Sunderland, the Welsh winger suffered no side-effects from his return to action in midweek when he was replaced after an hour of the 3-1 Carabao Cup first round tie at Luton.
Now he is hoping to be given the nod by manager Paul Lambert for tomorrow’s visit to his former club Peterborough, from whom he joined Town in a £700,000 deal last summer before going on to net six goals, enough to earn him the tag of joint-leading marksman alongside Freddie Sears.
Edwards, 26, said: “I wasn’t surprised when I was picked to play at Luton. I had been hoping to be involved on the Saturday against Sunderland but the gaffer said he felt it was a bit too soon.
“I was eager to go and I got 60 minutes on Tuesday, which was good, and it’s good to be back out there.
“There was no reaction apart from the usual stiffness you get from playing a game. It’s been a while but I’m feeling good and I’m ready to go again.
“Of course it was frustrating not to be involved in any of the pre-season games but we had discussions and I did my own pre-season programme. It wasn’t as if I was doing nothing during the summer.
“I was doing my own running and my own rehab in the gym. I was in Germany and even spot me in any of the pictures or videos from out there I can assure you I was there doing my own stuff. It was good to start the game at Luton and get 60 minutes under my belt.
“Other lads did their pre-season training and have played in most, if not all, the pre-season games but after playing on Tuesday I don’t feel as if I’m that far off the pace to be honest.
“Obviously the result wasn’t what we expected but from a personal point of view it felt good to have a decent run-out.”
Is he ready to make it two starts in the space of five days? Edwards continued: “I’ve done it before in my career when I’ve come back from injury so I’m sure I will be able to cope and get through another game. If I’m called upon I’m ready to go.
Edwards recalled how his problems started soon after the turn of the year. “From February onwards I had a little niggle that turned into a bigger problem really,” he explained.
“I had an injection and was able to play with it but it got to the stage where I couldn’t carry on. We needed to get it right in case it turned into something really serious.
“We spoke a lot in the summer and when we returned for pre-season, and I think it was one of them where you can carry on playing but you know it will only be so long until you break down.
“That was why we decided I would stick to my own programme, build up my fitness and make sure it was 100 per cent right before giving it a go. Tuesday went well and I’m ready for the next one now.
“I didn’t have my summer off and just spend my time partying. I was up and down to London to see specialists and trying to do my fitness work.
“It was tough and frustrating but I’m glad the plan’s worked and hopefully I’m ready for what’s left of the season.
“It was a difficult game at Luton and it certainly wasn’t the result we wanted. The way the game was going, the wingers and strikers didn’t really get much of the ball, but fitness-wise I definitely benefited.
“Obviously I’m a bit rusty – I hadn’t played since the Swansea game in April – but considering the time I had been out and how many games I missed I felt good.”
Meanwhile, Lampeter-born Edwards is also hoping he can recapture his best form for Town as it could propel him towards a recall to the Wales squad. “It would be great to see the manager, Ryan Giggs, at Portman Road to see how I am doing, especially if Emyr Huws is also playing regularly as well,” he added.
“If we’re both doing well at club level, and hopefully I’m banging the goals in, it would be great for us to be back in the Wales squad.
“They don’t really tend to keep in touch and when the international breaks come along there’s a provisional squad that gets cut down to be the main squad.
“You either get the call to say that you’re in and sometimes the manager will give you a call to explain why he has left you out.
“That’s what happened to me last year, before Christmas I think it was, when Ryan Giggs rang and said I wasn’t in, for whatever reason. If I’m playing well and we are doing well I’ll be hoping I get the shout.
“But the main thing is that we are fit, playing regularly and playing well for Ipswich.
“Ems and I go back a long way to my Swansea days and we’ve played together for Wales.
“I was really pleased for him to be back out there at Luton as well on Tuesday. He has had a really difficult time and he must have been very frustrated.
“But he’s back now and we all hope he stays fit to be in contention. He can be a massive player for us at this level.
“He’s unbelievable and from a young age he was ahead of virtually everyone. He was going up through the age groups and when you think he’s played for Wales, and you see the teams he’s played for, he’s had a good career.
“He hasn’t played as many games as he would have liked but hopefully, if we can keep him fit, Ems can be a really big player for us this season.”
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