Dave Edwards Reflects on Town's 2-2 draw with Cheltenham Town.
It was a great night for Dave Edwards as he managed to get back onto the pitch and get 45 minutes under his belt for the first time since his long term injury. Edwards returned ahead of schedule and explained how it felt to be back on the grass.
“It’s a sense of relief to get it over and done with,” said Dave. “It’s been a tough 14 weeks since surgery, I’ve worked really hard over the summer but to get back in training a couple of weeks ago and work to get this 45 minutes tonight, hopefully I’ll get some more time to play against Dundee and be ready for the start of the season on Saturday.
“You miss football so much when you’re not playing, it’s all the little steps such as getting back on the grass at the training ground and then joining in with the lads. Tonight was the final step really to get some game time, it was only 45 minutes, it’s a bit alien sometimes when you’re out on the pitch having not played for so long but you get used to it and I’m looking forward to Dundee now and I’ll hopefully get some more minutes.”
Edwards offered his thoughts on his side's performance where a late Eisa goal earnt Town a draw.
“I think the heat dictated the tempo of the game really, it was such a hot evening down in Cheltenham. When you haven’t got the ball you can’t press every time as it drains your legs and your lungs but I thought we played well, we had a lot of young lads in the team, I think they did themselves proud. It was a good exercise for the lads and it was important we got the equaliser late on, no one likes losing games of football even if it’s pre-season so the lads were happy in the dressing room after that.
“We will look at the goals that we conceded like Sunday where we conceded from a goal kick which should never happen and then off of a set-piece this evening. These are things we need to iron out and when it comes to Pompey first game of the season we need to be defensively a lot more solid. I think in possession against Cheltenham we controlled them really well, they didn’t create too many chances but we just need to iron out those little things and as I say we’ll get them sorted in the next 10 days or so.”
Eight out of the fifteen-man squad that featured on Tuesday came through the academy. Dave was impressed but not surprised by this stat.
“A team like Shrewsbury with such a small town as well, it’s important we get the youth lads involved and get them on the pitch. It’s great for the club to have a home-grown player that can come into the club and do well, you never know what can happen from there. Nights like Cheltenham for them is a big experience, I remember when I was James Rowland’s age, I was playing away in Wales with some big baggy white top on, it’s all great experience and although you don’t always go on and play at the start of the season it stands you in good stead.”