Kenny Jackett says it is up to Dave Edwards to show the sort of form which will earn him a new Wolves contract – as he re-iterated the strength in the goalkeeping department with Wayne Hennessey now back to challenge Carl Ikeme.
Edwards, who worked his way into Jackett’s plans during pre-season before picking up an injury on the opening day at Preston, has impressed having taken his opportunity in recent weeks in a more deeper role to that which he was previously accustomed.
His current contract expires next summer, and while Jackett acknowledges it is early days in terms of Edwards’ return, he says he is like all players in terms of having the opportunity to extend their Molineux futures with the right level of form and consistency.
“He can win a new deal - anyone playing in the team can,” said Wolves’ Head Coach.
“It’s a little bit early to be talking that way because he’s only been back in for a few games.
“But I’ve been very pleased with what he’s done and from a deeper position than mainly what he’s played in his career.
“Maybe at 27 that might be his best thing now – we’ll see.
“He makes very good decisions, he covers the ground very well and he’s come up with one key goal against Tranmere last Tuesday which gave us a bit of breathing space in that game.
“In terms of his game, I think he has a bit of everything.
“There’s no reason now why he shouldn’t have his best time, be at the peak of his career and put all of his experience to good use.
“I’ve been pleased with him in the short period he’s been back and in terms of the contract, of course he can earn one.
“There’s no doubt about that – that applies to anyone in the team.
“As a player, you’re very much in the driving seat on that.”
Edwards’ fellow Welsh international Hennessey is now back at Molineux after a successful loan spell at Yeovil in which he shrugged off almost 18 months on the sidelines with injury to rediscover his top form.
Jackett acknowledges that Hennessey will not find it easy to dislodge Ikeme, having previously indicated Wolves would have considered another loan offer to give him more football prior to last week’s deadline.
“It’s a good area and a good position for us – I look at it as I want to get every position as strong as it is in the goalkeeping area,” he said.
“If that was the case, we’d really be in business because it’s a very strong one for us.
“My first thought is always the club, and goalkeeping-wise we’re well looked after.
“I don’t Wayne being back gives Carl a spur as I don’t think he needs it.
“He’s been very highly motivated and Carl and Wayne have worked here for a number of years, albeit mainly the other way around.
“But this season it’s working that Carl has got the first opportunuity and he’s taken it very well.
“Goalkeepers are normally quite a close bunch and they look after each other very well.
“I’m looking for Carl and the back four to continue the good work they have – the goals against record is very good.
“If you can settle the back four and the keeper down during the course of the season and not have to change it, that’s fine.
“If there are injuries or suspensions or whatever, it’s a good department that we have good depth in so we can only be good for the club.
“And in terms of Carl and Wayne, they’ve worked day to day for many years.
“Wayne’s been out with two very serious injuries – one’s a recurrence and we’re all pleased he’s over it and having three months’ consistent football does I’m sure give him the confidence after that type of absence.
“You play one or two games and it can change, but he’s had a real consistent run and I’m sure that will give him confidence going forwards that he’s 100 per cent fit and over the injury.”