Enjoying The Challenge

Rob Edwards looks for strong finish

Rob Edwards says he has enjoyed every minute of his first year involved with the senior Wolves coaching staff – and believes the future is bright for the club’s young squad.

It was this time last year that Edwards was promoted from Academy Under-18s coach to assisting Kenny Jackett and Joe Gallen, a move that became permanent in the summer.

And the former Wolves defender is continuing to relish the opportunity of working with – and learning from – the experience of Jackett and Gallen.

“I have loved it and it has been really interesting.,” says Edwards.

“To learn from Ken and Joe, with the vast experience they have got, has been of great value to me and in my career.

“It has been an incredible journey, one that I am really enjoying.

“There have been frustrations at times like there is in any job in football because it is all about winning games.

“But I love that pressure to it – you get involved in football because you want to win.

“Hopefully I am someone who can help Kenny and Joe by giving another opinion and something they can bounce off.

“Maybe my opinion can be a little bit different to some of the others at times but it’s always good to share ideas.

“I can also work with some of the defenders as well.

“I was a defender myself not so long ago so hopefully I can work with them closely and try and help them as well.”

After a stirring finish to last season which saw Wolves amass the largest points total to miss out on the Sky Bet Championship play-offs – and that only on goal difference – it has proved a far tougher campaign this time around.

Key players have left the club, others have picked up long term injuries, and Wolves are now occupying mid-table with eight games remaining, the first of which is Saturday’s visit of Ipswich Town (3pm).

“It has been really interesting to see how Ken has handled things over the year,” adds Edwards.

“Let’s be honest it has been difficult at times – we have lost some key players through injury and then others moving on to pastures new.

“The great thing is that we have given the younger players an opportunity and some of them have taken it really well.

“It has been difficult at times to get a consistent level like we did towards the end of last season when we took 30 points from the last 15 games which was promotion form.

“We were on a roll – and very nearly got there.

“This season has been really interesting, hard at times, but then you get a last minute equaliser like we did at Burnley and you see a lot in the team to work with.

“It gives you real hope and a sense of pleasure.

“Burnley are top of the league and we went there and were the better team.

“It shows it is there, it is just about building up a level of consistency.

“In the last few weeks I think we have seen a level of belief from the players – they are still pushing and they know it is not over yet and you always have to believe like that.

“Sometimes it is difficult to fully believe until you do it and now we have had a few performances when the self-belief, the togetherness, work ethic and desire is there.

“All that builds confidence, which comes from working really hard and achieving things.”

Wolves are occupying mid-table with eight games remaining and unlikely to affect the situation at either end of the Sky Bet Championship table.

But Edwards says it is important to finish off the season as strongly as possible, and with as many points as possible, ahead of the summer break.

“To give everyone some hope we want to finish the season strongly,” he says.

“It is about winning the next half of football against Ipswich, and then the next 45 minutes after that.

“It’s a boring answer, but I think that is it!

“Then in the more long-term in the eight games left we want to put in some really positive performances in the same way that we have been doing lately.

“The end of the season is coming but a lot can happen in eight games and we just have to see where it takes us.”