Carlos working on his defensive game

CARLOS Edwards insists he won’t be a liability in defence for Ipswich Town this season.

The Trinidad and Tobago international heads into the club’s Championship opener at Bristol City tomorrow as manager Paul Jewell’s automatic choice at right-back.

You can tell the 32-year-old has spent most of his career playing as a winger by the incessant forward runs.

However, he believes he is now beginning to find the right balance between attack and defence though having been converted to full-back last season – the position he initially started out in as a youngster.

“As much as I like to attack there comes a time when you need to stay solid as a back four,” said Edwards.

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“Yes, I love to get forward as much as possible, but at the end of the day it can cause your team as much damage as it can gain you an advantage.

“I’m learning more and more that you just have to pick your time when to go forward and when not.

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“I am an attack-minded player but recognise that I’m a right-back now and I have to keep it in my head that not every time I have to go bombing forward.

“Chris Hutchings and the gaffer (Paul Jewell) have been teaching me a few pointers. I have listened to everything they have got to say because I know they aren’t telling me things for the sake of it. Rather than letting it go in one ear and out the other I have taken everything on board because I want to keep improving as a player.”

Edwards missed the first game of pre-season with a hip injury but then featured heavily in the five matches which followed.

He is honest enough to admit though that, having made 51 appearances in League and Cup last season, he is still some way short of peak fitness heading into the new campaign.

“Pre-season hasn’t gone as well as I would like personally,” said Edwards. “I’m still some way short of where I want to be and the manager knows that, but I’m confident it won’t take me long to hit my stride again.”

Meanwhile, Edwards has backed new Town striker Michael Chopra – a former team mate of his at Sunderland – to hit the goal trail again following his relatively modest return of 11 for Cardiff last season.

“You look at his goalscoring record and it’s one of the best at this level,” enthused Edwards.

“Hopefully he can refind the form of the season before last because if he does then he’ll almost certainly get 20 plus goals.

“He’s one of those players that opposition defences know they can’t take their eye off.

“One lapse in concentration and he will pounce and punish you. He’s looked so sharp in training and you just get the feeling he’ll score on Saturday.”

– Keep an eye on this website throughout the day for plenty more Ipswich Town news.

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