Edwards: We Understand Fans' Frustrations
Wednesday, 27th Jan 2021 11:36
Winger Gwion Edwards says the Town players understand fans’ frustrations and feel the same way with last night’s 1-0 home defeat to Sunderland seeing the Blues drop to 10th in League One.
Despite losing Kayden Jackson to a 10th-minute red card, Town never looked like being beaten heavily with Charlie Wyke’s goal just before half-time the difference between the teams, while the Blues had one or two opportunities of their own.
“I haven’t seen the tackle back but I don’t think he’s meant to do it,” Edwards said of Jackson’s challenge that led to his dismissal.
“But it’s very difficult then to go on and try and nick something from the game.
“But I think the lads put a shift in and kept it 1-0. It was a shame we didn’t get to half-time at 0-0 but maybe with 11 on the pitch we’d probably have taken something from tonight.”
Edwards was playing only his third game after returning from a hamstring injury which had sidelined him since November, but despite very heavy conditions and being down to 10 men, he came through the match OK.
“I felt alright, to be fair,” he reflected. “It was a very tough game for everyone and when you’ve just come back from injury, that’s not ideal.
“But I’m a fit lad, so it was alright. It was a big shift from everyone and I can’t praise everyone enough for putting that shift in tonight and we probably could have nicked something. We only had a couple of chances, but with 11 on the pitch we probably get a result tonight.”
However, the battling display did nothing for the Blues’ current situation with the loss Town’s sixth in their last seven at home. Overall, Town have taken just 10 points from their last 10 matches, hardly promotion form. In a form table over those games they sit 18th.
The Blues are now 10th, five points off the play-offs, 10 off second and 13 away from leaders Lincoln City.
“It’s frustrating for us all,” Edwards admitted. “We’re feeling it in there and we’ve just got to stick together and keep going.
“All you can do is keep working hard and hopefully you get that little bit of luck and you turn it around and you string a few results together.
“There’s no reason why we can’t do it, we’ve got a good side and like you’ve seen tonight, we’ve been down a man and we’ve stayed in the game all game and had a couple of chances, so with 11 on the pitch tonight we’d probably nick something and it’s a different story.”
He knows the Blues can’t afford not to take those opportunities when they come: “Obviously not, we need to take them and we need to stop conceding as well. The lads have put a shift in tonight, it was a really difficult game and it could have been a different story if we had 11 on the pitch.”
Manager Paul Lambert is coming under more and more pressure as the Blues slip down the table, but Edwards feels the Blues boss knows that comes with the territory.
“You know what it’s like in football, the gaffer knows what it’s like in football,” he said. “You need the results and we’ve just all got to stick together and keep working hard and hopefully we can get those results and turn it around.”
Reflecting on his return to action after more than two months out, he added: “It’s great to be out there again, obviously it’s frustrating and disappointing with the results but I’ll keep on trying as hard as I can and hopefully I can get those goals or crosses into the box to set someone up so we can turn it around.”
He added: “To be fair, I felt good out there. Even on Saturday, I felt good, I had a couple of chances on Saturday, I probably should have finished them, so hopefully on Saturday coming I can get a chance and put it away and we can get back at it and the team can get results.”
Prior to his hamstring injury, Edwards had been one of Town’s outstanding performers, scoring five goals: “I was flying, it was difficult, it happened in training and then I had a little setback again then. I probably would have been fit then by Christmas and then the training ground closed.
“It’s a strange season, it’s a strange world out there for everyone, not just us. We’ve just got to stick together and hopefully we can get our bit of luck and turn it around.”
Town will need Edwards to get back on the goal trail with Jackson suspended for three games following his red card, Oli Hawkins out due to knee surgery and James Norwood struggling with his hamstring problem.
“We’re not getting any luck out there, we’re struggling with strikers this year, for whatever reason,” the Welshman continued.
“All I can do is try my best and hopefully I can get a few more goals. I’m confident I can, confident the other lads in the team can, whatever it is, set pieces or from open play, I’m confident we can get goals. We need that little bit of luck. We’ll stick together and we’ll keep on going.”
The former Swansea trainee is relishing playing on his preferred left flank: “It’s been nice to be out there. I don’t mind playing on the right but I’ve played left all my career and I’ve scored most of my goals this season playing there.
“Hopefully on Saturday I can nick that goal and get my form back and try and lift the spirit in the team and get the result.”
“It was a difficult game for him tonight, he’s come in and he’s put a great shift in and you can see he’s got something about him,” he said. “Even on Saturday he had a few nice little runs.
“It was a difficult game for him, hopefully he recovers well and he can go again Saturday and add something to the team.”
Asked what he says to supporters who currently critical of their team’s performances and down in the dumps, he said: “We totally understand them, we understand they’re frustrated. We’re frustrated, we want the results.
“It’s their right to be frustrated, they want us up there, we want to be back up there. We should be in the Championship.
“Where we are in the league is not where any of us want to be, so they’ve got to stick together, stick with us. We’re sticking together to try and work as hard as we can to try and get back up there, not just for us but for them. We want to try and get back up there in the Championship so we can give something back for them.”
Edwards, who joined the Blues for £700,000 in the summer of 2018 from Peterborough, is out of contract in the summer, Town having taken up the one-year option on his current deal at the end of 2019/20.
Quizzed on whether there has been any progress on a new deal, he said: “I’m just concentrating with playing. I’m happy playing, I’m playing on the left and all I can do is try and add goals to the team and we’ll see, whatever happens, happens.”
Have there been any discussions regarding a new deal? “Nothing since last year and a little bit in the summer, but I’ve no personally heard anything since.
“I was happy to keep playing and seeing how the season goes, give my all and try and do the best for the team and then I’m guessing we’ll discuss it in the summer.
“Like I said, I’m enjoying playing my football, I’m playing in my position, I’ve scored a few goals, so if I can carry on adding goals, I’m sure they’ll come up with something.”
But he admits there may come come a point where he might look at options elsewhere: “Of course, it’s one of those things. But I’m not really looking into it too much, I’m enjoying playing on the wing, so if I can add some goals to the team and get us up there, then that’s all I’m concentrating at the minute.
“I’m not concentrating on contracts or where I’m going to be next summer, if I’m here or somewhere else. Obviously, it’s a great club to be at, it’s a great club and I want to get us back in the Championship.”
But, like any other player, the Carmarthen-born wideman wants to play at the highest level he can and joined the Blues in the second tier.
“I didn’t come here to come to League One, to be honest,” he said. “I signed for the club thinking we were going to be up there in the Championship, but for now the task is to get us back there, and that’s all I want to do is get us back to the Championship.”
Town have beaten only two teams currently in the top 10, Accrington and Crewe earlier in the campaign when the Railwaymen were well down the table, while losing eight games against sides at the division's top end.
Edwards admits that record can’t continue if Town are to be in the promotion shake-up: “We needed the win and, as I said, with 11 on the pitch we probably nicked something, I don’t think there was too much in it.
“We kept it 1-0 all game with a man down, so with 11 on the pitch we probably get a result. We had a couple of chances and the lads put a great shift in, that’s all we could have asked.
“When something like that happens you’ve just got to work as hard as you can, and we did that tonight. Hopefully on Saturday we can go again and we can get a result.”
He added: “They’re a great bunch of lads in there, every day in training we go again. The results haven’t been great, we know that, we understand the frustration from the fans, we’re frustrated.
“They want to see us winning, they want to cheer is along, we want to win and give them something back. We’re working hard to do that and hopefully we can do that sooner rather than later.”
Looking to Saturday’s visit to Crewe Alexandra, one place and one point above the Blues having played three more games, Edwards knows it won’t be an easy fixture with the Railwaymen having lost only their first game in 11 in League One at Gillingham 4-1 last night.
The Blues won the Portman Road match between the teams 1-0 but the result might well have gone the other way.
“I think we nicked the result,” he admitted. “They were a good side and it’s another tough game again, there’s no easy games in this league.
“We’ll recover right and we’ve got to go again, we’ve got to go out there on Saturday give everything we can and find something to try and nick the result.”
Crewe have lost impressive right-back Perry Ng to Cardiff City since the start of the transfer window, however, Edwards knows the Alex will still be difficult opposition.
“Maybe, but it’s still going to be a tough game, we’re not going to go there thinking we’re definitely going to get the three points, but we’ll do there and put a shift in like we did and we’ll try and create more chances and try and tighten up at the back, and hopefully we can get that bit of luck to turn the results around and climb back up that table.”
Photo: Matchday Images
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