How Carlos Edwards helped JET lift-off

HIS appointment as skipper may have raised a few eyebrows but Carlos Edwards was already displaying his captaincy skills prior to leading the Blues out at Portsmouth for the first time last month.

The 33-year-old has been a mainstay in a struggling Town side this season, playing out of position at right-back where he has, in recent weeks, forged an unlikely double act with big-name summer signing, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, who was signed predominantly as a striker.

While partnerships play a big part in football, few would have predicted the attack-minded duo to have stickability down the right-hand side, especially after Edwards had to help his team-mate during the infancy of his Town career.

But Emmanuel-Thomas has knuckled down and displayed an improved work-rate in recent weeks, much to the delight of Edwards who feels the duo provide a real threat – in both attack and defence.

“At first when he (Emmanuel-Thomas) came in he needed an arm round him and someone to teach him a few things (defensively),” said Edwards, who was seen consoling a frustrated Emmanuel-Thomas after a pre-season game at Portman Road.

“I think Paul Jewell did that, but maybe JET thought the gaffer was having a go at him. I think he (Jewell) was just biding his time to unleash him on to the world.”

Edwards has played all but one game as a right-back under Jewell’s stewardship while Emmanuel-Thomas has settled into a more reserved role with Lee Martin supporting main striker, Michael Chopra.

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While both are better known for their attacking prowess, Edwards’ consistency has seen him become a fans’ favourite with Blues fans, while Emmanuel-Thomas has chipped in with some vital challenges and blocks as well as notching a few spectacular goals at the other end.

“What we have better than a lot of teams is our pace and our presence,” said Edwards.

“JET is more attack-minded but I am in his ear every so often to get back and defend and with our pace and his presence, I think the opposition find it hard to break us down.

“Once I get the ball, I hand it to him and let him do his stuff as much as possible.”

Edwards is out of contract in the summer but may have increased his chances of winning a new deal having taken the captaincy in his stride and proved a consistent performer in an unfamiliar position.

“I was given the armband by Chris Hutchings and he joked that I may have won it by a flick of a coin, but I took that in my stride,” said Edwards.

“I voice my opinion but I expect the players to tell me where I am going wrong too and I think I have done a good job so far.”