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Winning A Place

PUBLISHED

09:00 14th November 2013

Edwards keen to prove his worth

Dave Edwards is hoping to convince Head Coach Kenny Jackett he is a man for all formations after returning to the starting line-up against Oldham last weekend.

Having enjoyed an impressive pre-season and started the first game of the campaign at Preston, the Welsh international midfielder suffered a reoccurrence of a foot injury which sidelined him for several weeks.

Edwards did return to the starting line-up against Sheffield United in late September, but has since featured largely in Under-21 fixtures to improve his sharpness.

Operating chiefly as the attacking midfielder behind lone frontman Jake Cassidy at Boundary Park, Edwards completed his first 90 minutes in eight months and has now set his sights on landing a regular spot whether as part of a a two or three-man engine room.

“It was nice to be back and it went ok but I was disappointed we didn’t get the win,” Edwards said of his return.

“I’ve been back training for a long time now and playing reserve games and it was good to get through a 90 minutes.

“I’ve been biding my time and waiting for a chance and it was nice to get competitive minutes under my belt because it is different to playing in reserve games and training.

“Hopefully I can get some more match fitness and be able to do a little bit better as well.

“I would think with more game time and more confidence I would do better with the chances that I had, especially the second one.

“When you haven’t played for a while it is more about spatial awareness and getting back used to where you are on the pitch and how much time you have.

“With the first one when I got played through I probably had a bit more time than I thought and these are the things that come naturally when you have been playing regularly.

“In a proper game you are not as relaxed as you are in training but once you do get a good run then it becomes a lot easier.

“If I can get in the team and keep my place I am sure I will be able to put those chances away.”

Edwards continued:  “It was a different formation at Oldham and I played off the striker in the first half which I enjoyed.

“I still see myself as a central midfielder who can hopefully adapt in both the 4-4-2 and 4-3-3 systems which the gaffer likes to play.

“It is about me proving to the gaffer that I can play in there as a two when required because I still think that is my best position when I am able to get around the pitch, win the ball back and make late runs into the box as well.

“I can also play out wide as well although it’s going to be very difficult given the way the wingers are doing at the moment especially James Henry on the right.

“It is nice to be able to play those positions and hopefully I can get a chance in a league game and keep my place.”

Edwards admits that, like any player, it is always difficult when you are not enjoying regular football.

But he has got his head down and carried on working, particularly in Under-21 fixtures to build up his sharpness.

It is also a particularly important season for the 27-year-old, now into his seventh year at Molineux, with his contract expiring at the end of the campaign.

He added:  “I have been fit since the start of September and came on against Shrewsbury and then started against Sheffield United.

“I felt really good going into that game and I felt fit during the game but probably wasn’t quite as sharp as what I needed to be.

“I had a chat with the gaffer after the game and he said he didn’t think I was 100 per cent in terms of sharpness and that only comes with playing games.

“I asked if I could get some Under-21 games under my belt which I have done as well as coming through a lot of game situations in training and 11 v 11 which helps my fitness.

“I feel I am at a place now where hopefully I can make an impact if given the chance.

“Of course it is always difficult when you are not playing but you have to keep working hard in training and staying positive.

“It is hard for any player not to be playing but I always think of it that it is a lot worse to be injured.

“I feel blessed that I am fit and available for selection and have just got to make sure that when I do get my chance I am physically and mentally ready to take it.

“It is a big season for me with the knock I got at Preston in the first game of the season which knocked me back after getting a decent pre-season under my belt.

“It was a reoccurrence of a foot injury I had suffered before and that was hard to take because I had done everything right physically to keep myself fit.

“It kept me out for a few weeks and since then I have  just been working hard and waiting for an opportunity.

“My contract is up at the end of the season and I do enjoy it here so hopefully if I can get myself in the team I can impress the gaffer and earn another contract.

“But first of all it’s about trying to play regularly again and show what I can do.

“Hopefully I can do enough to show my future lies at Wolves but we will have to wait and see.”

Of more importance to Edwards at the present time is trying to help the team continue their impressive start to the season, the next fixture coming at Notts County on Saturday (3pm).

He believes it will need the impact of all the squad to maintain the pace at the top of the Sky Bet League One table.

“The gaffer needs a full squad to keep everyone on their toes and keep us getting results over a long season,” he added.

“I was wondering a couple of weeks ago where a chance would come as the squad is so strong and we have so many good midfielders.

“All of a sudden you get that chance and have to be ready and all of the lads are exactly the same.

“It’s going to be a busy few weeks going into the Christmas period and he is going to need everyone available and in the right frame of mind which I am sure they will be.”

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