Town winger Edwards on playing for his future, questions about the team's mentality and big Easter test

Gwion Edwards celebrates after scoring early in the second half.
Picture: Steve Waller
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Gwion Edwards says he knows he's playing for his Ipswich Town future - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town winger Gwion Edwards says he knows he and his teammates are playing for their futures - and they plan to prove their worth by firing the Blues into the League One play-offs.

Flying Welshman Edwards, 28, started the season like his short were on fire, scoring five goals in Town's first nine games, but - like the team - his form has since fallen away.

He is one of 13 first team players who are out of contract in the summer, with Edwards one of the few whom the club don't have an option on.

And, with new boss Paul Cook making it clear that his players have to show him what they're made of in the final ten games of the season, Edwards insists he and the rest of the team are up to the test.

He said: "If you're under contract or you've got a long contract, you're still playing for your future each day. In football, nothing is sure, even if you're on a three-year contract, the club could get rid of you at any time.

Gwion Edwards celebrates his second goal at Blackpool. Picture Pagepix Ltd

Gwion Edwards celebrates his second goal at Blackpool. Picture Pagepix Ltd - Credit: Blackpool

"I've always been playing for my future, so me being out of contract is obviously in the back of my mind, but it's not something I'm worried about. My main concentration is to try and push as a team and as a club to get into the play-offs.

"Obviously I'm curious to see where I'm going to be next season, it would be nice to know, but it's not bothering me too much. I'm sure, like with others in the team, they'll sit down with us at the end of the season and decide our futures then.

"Getting to the play-offs is our main objective - I'm sure the others would say the same."

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Edwards confirmed that there have been no conversations so far about his future, adding: "I'm not really expecting them.

"Obviously there's been a change in manager, which is a big process for the club, and we're trying to get into the play-offs, so I'm not sure that would be the first thing in mind at the minute - there's quite a few of us out of contract, so I think they'll review it at the end of the season."

Edwards, a £700,000 signing from Peterborough in July 2018, has been linked with moves over the past few months, but said that he wasn't aware of any firm interest.

Gwion Edwards battles for the ball during the first half at Portsmouth

Gwion Edwards battles for the ball during the first half at Portsmouth - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

"I personally have no idea," he said. "I don't really tend to look into stuff like that, or know if there's interest in me. (If there was), that's news to me.

"There was no thought of leaving in January or anything like that. I was happy to be here and try to achieve the objectives that we set out at the start of the season."

Town's lack of success this season cost Paul Lambert his job and, with the Blues still toiling in 11th in the third tier of English football, many fans and observers alike have questioned the team's heart and mentality.

But Edwards insists that the players are giving their all for the cause.

"Fans are obviously all entitled to their opinion," he said. "They pay good money to watch us and support us and we appreciate them, and we've missed them a lot in and around the grounds, home and away.

"We can feel their frustrations, but I don't think you can question the players we've got. We worked hard for the manager we did have and now, under the new manager, hopefully we can get it right for us as a club and for the fans.

"If we can get into the play-offs and give something back to the fans, that would be an amazing feeling."

The fist step to doing that is this Easter weekend, with games against the league's bottom two sides - Bristol Rovers at home tomorrow, followed by a trip to Rochdale on Monday.

Asked if Town have to claim all six points available over Easter, Edwards replied: "Yeah, I think it does. Obviously, we start Friday and if we can get the win Friday we'll build off that.

"We've got a good run-in now and every game is massive to get into those play-offs."

New boss Cook has had little time to work with his charges, but Edwards says the team are enjoying the process of learning what he wants.

"Every manager has a different style, there's always something slightly different," he explained. 'm trying to play more inside as a winger now, on and off the ball is different stuff that he's trying to get into us as players.

"It's good, it's enjoyable and we're learning something different each day, new style, different positions on the pitch. If we can put that on the pitch on Friday and make it click, hopefully thht will be three points.

"It's not necessarily difficult (to change). We've seen how he wants to play and there have been bits of that, positives in the games we've played, so  it's just trying to do that for the 90 minutes and then consistently throughout the next few games."

Gwion Edwards has helped fire Ipswich Town towards the top of the League One table. Can the Blues ki

Gwion Edwards has scored five goals this season - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

He added:  "Another goal (for me) would be lovely! Like the gaffer says, he's looking for creativity and at the start of the season I was doing really well, and if I can get back to that it's only going to be a positive for myself and the team if I can get back creating, scoring and setting up goals.

"I'm not too sure (what's different now). It's just how football goes - you have spells where everything is going right for you and every shot you take is going in, but  obviously I got the assist the other week at Portsmouth and it's trying to get into those right areas and the final ball has got to be a lot better from me.

"We've been working on that this week, so if I can put that onto the pitch on matchday then hopefully that will come."

Gwion Edwards outpaces Haji Mnoga as he races for the ball.
Picture: Steve Waller
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Gwion Edwards outpaces Haji Mnoga as he races for the ball. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Asked if he truly believes Town can make the play-offs, Edwards replied: "Yeah, personally I believe we can, and most of the lads as well.

"We're so close, we're within touching distance of it. The only way we can get momentum is building off a win on Friday.

"It's going to be a long month, but there's no reason we can't do it and we all believe we can."

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