Edwards Would Love to Make Winning Return to Wembley
Friday, 5th Nov 2021 06:00
He has already played and scored at Wembley but Town winger Kyle Edwards would welcome the opportunity of returning to the national stadium and this time being a member of the winning side.
The Dudley-born player was on loan from first club West Bromwich Albion to Exeter when he netted near the end of the Grecians’ 3-1 loss to Coventry in the 2018 League Two play-off final at Wembley in front of more than 50,000 spectators.
Edwards said: “I remember it well. It was a very good moment and it will stay with me forever. No one can take it away from me and it was a very proud moment for me.
“But we didn’t win the game and there’s nothing I would enjoy more than having a chance to go back to Wembley and this time being a winner.”
While tomorrow’s FA Cup first round visit of Oldham Athletic would send Town one step closer to a Wembley final, realistically speaking their best chance of playing at the national stadium in the near future is going to come via the League One play-offs or the Papa John’s Trophy.
Town entertain Colchester in the latter competition on Tuesday when victory for either side will take them through to the knockout stage and Edwards added: “It is a real big chance and I don’t know of any player who doesn’t want to play at Wembley.
“That’s something every footballer wants to do, to have the big day out at Wembley, so if we can push on against Colchester on Tuesday you never know how things will work out.
“I think all the guys would be over the moon if we reached the final and they had a chance to play there.”
The 4-1 win at Wycombe on Tuesday saw Town climb to within three places and four points of the play-off zone, but while he would gladly take promotion via that route Edwards insisted he and his colleagues still see themselves as genuine contenders to go up automatically by securing a top-two finish.
Edwards added: “Can we go up automatically? Yes, of course we can. It’s a very, very long season and there’s a long, long way to go.
“We still have 30 games to play and that’s a lot of points to be won. At the moment we are starting to get it together so we can push right the way up into the top two.
“After our result at Wycombe we have nothing to fear. I’ve always said we should have nothing to fear and that’s not being disrespectful to the other teams. I just feel we can get at any team we play and beat them. I don’t think any of the lads have any fears, no matter who we are playing against.
“Apart from losing at Plymouth, we have been doing well recently and the aim is to keep it going for as long as possible. You can see it is starting to come together now.”
Edwards has been in the starting line-up for each of Town’s last four games and believes he has made the most of his chance to impress boss Paul Cook. “I feel I have performed well,” he continued, “and the only thing I need to do is to score.
“But I feel a goal is coming and hopefully I’ll get one in the coming weeks. I seem to be getting more chances, the more I play, so hopefully one will be tucked away soon.
“It has been a while and I haven’t scored since I came to Ipswich but I believe it’s close. Patience is a virtue, as they say, and with time it will come.
“I feel like there’s a lot more to come from me. I’ve just joined a new team in a new league and I’m still getting to grips with it. I feel I’ve still got so much more to show to everyone and I hope people will stick with me.
“I know I haven’t scored a goal yet but give me time and stick with me, and I reckon I can show everyone how good a player I really am.
“I am feeling the love from the fans. I feel it a lot, not just on match days but from my social media and the comments I receive.
“Whenever I see the fans, whether it’s outside the stadium or somewhere else, they are always saying positive stuff to me. I definitely feel the love, quite a lot actually.”
Edwards, who was only six when he joined up with the Baggies, has formed a close friendship with teammate Bersant Celina, who scored twice at Wycombe after his first goal of the season earned a 2-1 victory over Fleetwood last time out at Portman Road.
He said: “I’m getting on really well with him, both on and off the pitch. We’re similar types in that we are flair players who like to take on opponents and go past them. We are developing the sort of understanding where we both know what we want from each other.”
Asked if Celina’s arrival on loan from French club Dijon made him fear for his place, Edwards added: “I was just pleased to see us signing another quality player to make us stronger and I was looking forward to playing with him.
“We have a strong squad and I always see that as a major positive because it keeps everyone on their toes.”
Edwards and Celina are the type guaranteed to keep the more defensive-minded Town players busy in training games and the former laughed: “We’ve both been kicked a few times. Just leave it at that – I’m not naming names!”
Town fans who saw Edwards and centre-half Toto Nsiala star in a club video, in which they were quizzed this week by a group of young supporters drawn from the ranks of the thriving Junior Blues section, will have been amused at the end result.
Edwards added: “They had some tough questions for us, but they were also good questions and to be fair I enjoyed it. There was one lad on there – his name was Kai – who really made me laugh.
“They were asking us about what food we liked and when I said I was a big fan of sushi it made me realise that it’s about all I have been eating lately.
“When I go home some weekends my mum does a big meal for all the family and I always enjoy that. There’s loads of stuff and a strong Jamaican influence – chicken, rice and peas, curried goat, potatoes, oxtail, that sort of thing.
“My brother is away at university so when we get back home at the weekend we both look forward to mum’s cooking. It’s a real treat on the Sunday. We’ve gone past the stage of taking our washing home – it’s all about the food.
“If she comes down to Ipswich I’m sure a few of the players will want to sample her cooking. I know Rekeem [Harper] and Toto [Nsiala] are definitely interested so I might invite them over.”
Photos: Matchday Images/Reuters
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