He’s the ice-cool skipper who is winning rave reviews from his colleagues.
Cool-handed Carlos Edwards is ITFC’s latest captain and has quickly won the seal of approval in the dressing room.
So much so that the unflappable full-back has been hailed as a big part in Town’s resurgence which, the Brighton blip aside, has seen them steer well away from the relegation zone.
Edwards is out of contract in the summer and there remains indecision over the future of one of the side’s most consistent performers this season.
Should he leave, the 33-year-old will leave Paul Jewell with some big boots to fill on and off-the-field, such is his popularity in the dressing room.
“I could not believe it when he got the captaincy, everyone knows what Carlos is like,” joked centre-back Damien Delaney.
“He is so easy going. I have been with him here for the best part of three years and I have never seen him get remotely upset or lose his temper, even though I have seen some pretty horrible things happen to him. He just takes it all in his stride.
“He is a good captain because he is so calm and helps everyone around him.
“As a captain, maybe he is emitting his character on to the lads because he is always joking in the dressing room in his relaxed Caribbean way and hopefully that is rubbing off on us to. Long may that continue.”
Prior to the 3-0 defeat at the Amex Stadium, Delaney and Edwards were part of a defence that conceded just three goals in the previous four games, with right-back Edwards skippering the side to two clean sheets.
But Delaney might have a new centre-back partner for Saturday’s visit of Bristol City after Tommy Smith played 90 minutes for New Zealand in their 3-2 friendly defeat against Jamaica in Auckland.
Smith, who has started the last eight matches in his own bid to earn a new contract, impressed for the All Whites but will not return to Suffolk until Friday morning.
Blues boss Paul Jewell will make a late assessment of Smith’s fitness with fit-again Ibrahima Sonko waiting in the wings.
How Carlos Edwards helped JET lift-off.
By Chris Brammer (Ipswich Star).
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.
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.”