Edwards on Toon Test Part Two
Dave Edwards says it is about time Wolves had a decent cup run – as he called for the team to pick up from where they left off for their second visit to Newcastle in four days this evening (7.45pm).
Wolves completed part one of their twin Toon test in excellent style with a 2-0 victory in Saturday’s Sky Bet Championship tussle, and return to St James’ Park tonight in the third round of the EFL Cup.
Edwards, recalled to the team for the weekend’s win and linking up impressively in midfield with Romain Saiss and Prince Oniangue, says whichever Wolves team is selected, they will be going for the win.
“Hopefully it won’t be too different to Saturday tonight and we can show the same energy and passion,” says the Welsh international.
“We want to treat it as a league game and put in a really good performance.
“On a personal level I have been here nine years and never had a cup run.
“I think the furthest I have been is when we got to the fourth round of the FA Cup and lost to Middlesbrough back in 2008/09 so it will be great to get to the fourth round of this one.
“And then you never know.
“They will be hurting like we were after Tuesday night.
“It is a fabulous stadium and the fans will be behind them
“We have to match them for passion and enthusiasm and I am sure we are capable of getting another result.”
Edwards says the performance and result on Saturday was crucial after the crushing disappointment of the previous 4-0 defeat against Barnsley.
“It was a great win and really important after what happened on Tuesday night,” he said.
“We were very disappointed with how that game went and had we lost at Newcastle there would have been some pressure on.
“Tuesday night really hurt us.
“The start we had to the season, barring Huddersfield, had been good and the atmosphere around the club had started to rise and had a feeling of it being a special season.
“What happened at the end of the Burton game, and then losing 4-0 to Barnsley, it just felt a bit like all that hard work had come crashing down.
“It felt things might peter out but we didn’t want that to happen, even though it is early on we knew how important it was to go to Newcastle first to put on a performance and then to get the three points.
“I know it is only early in the season but it puts us back on the edge of the play offs and a lot of confidence into the cup game and Brentford on Saturday.
“It is such a bizarre league isn’t it?
“It is great to be involved in and can be very emotional for the fans I imagine.
“Us losing 4-0 in midweek, them winning 6-0, people might have thought it would be an 8-0 or something but we went there and put in a really good performance.
“From the first moment we pressed right up the pitch and worked really hard for the result.
“We needed to stay in the game, which we did, and then try and get a goal on the break.
“Apart from a really good save from Carl in the first half I didn’t really feel in danger.
“I felt we controlled our shape really well – we didn’t drop too deep – and we had some good chances with a great ball from Jon for the first and great finish from Helder for the second.”
It was Saiss’s first appearance in a Wolves shirt in midfield, just in front of the back four.
Edwards was impressed.
“Romain did very well,”
“I have seen him in training building his fitness gradually and the gaffer felt Saturday was the right time.
“He went in there and put in a really controlled performance.
“He has got the ability on the ball and looks very fluid in possession.
“He reminds me very much of Nenad Milijas when he was here in the way he can wrap his left foot around the ball.
“Defensively he is great as well and his shape was really good.
“I think it worked well with the three of us in there.
“We were disciplined, and didn’t need to be running all over the pitch everywhere.
“It was important we pressed high and didn’t let ourselves drop too deep to invite pressure on.
“I felt we got the balance just right with Saiss in behind and myself and Prince in there trying to stop the through balls to their forwards.”
Edwards was not in the 18 for the previous game against Barnsley, and says the players now understand that squad rotation means there could be plenty of changes as the season evolves.
He then says it is up to those players themselves to keep themselves in the Head Coach’s thoughts, and says he has set his own personal standards at St James’ Park.
“I was disappointed not to be involved on Tuesday night,” he says.
“As soon as that happened my mindset was about wanting to take my next chance and get back in the team.
“I will work exceptionally hard to try and do that.
“By my own admission, apart from the Reading game, my performances so far have not been up to scratch.
“I’ve had a few little niggles in some of the games but that is no excuse.
“I am at a stage now where I feel fit and I feel healthy.
“My game is all about being energetic and getting around putting pressure on people and I feel able to do that again.
“I am in the last year of my contract and I am desperate to stay here.
“I do believe this season could be something special and it is all about keeping the momentum now.”