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CARLOS Edwards might have been only too willing to sign a new one-year deal at Ipswich Town.

But the current captain, who took a pay cut to stay at Portman Road, knows he has his work cut out keeping his place.

Edwards has been a virtual ever-present this season and his consistent performances finally saw the club offer him a new one-year deal, with the possibility of a 12-month extension.

Delighted to get his future sorted, the 33-year-old still fully expects manager Paul Jewell to bring in a new right-back next season.

He said: “As much as players don’t like it, you need competition. The players like competition and the manager wants competition – that should be the case.

“I always give 100% regardless of whether I have anyone pushing me – it is not in my nature not to. I expect the gaffer to bring in another right-back.”

Edwards admitted that he turned down a new deal at Ipswich last year because he wanted to prove to Jewell he was worth more money – even though he eventually accepted a pay cut.

He explained: “It is always tough to take a pay cut, but at the same time you want to be playing. I am not getting any younger, but I am not dwelling on it – it is not the end of the world.

“The new deal was never in doubt. I had a word with the manager and the chairman and we were getting along, we just had to thrash out a few things – how we could go about it and what way.”

Edwards revealed he had one or two rivals clubs “sniffing around” but insisted remaining at Ipswich was his number one aim.

He said: “My family is happy here, the kids are settled in school. I have reached a point in my career, having moved around a lot in the last 12 years, where I just wanted to be settled.

“I could have put pen to paper last season but I told the manager I wanted to wait and prove myself to gain something more substantial. I have done that and in the end we both came out winners.”