Sunderland manager Roy Keane has told his players to keeps things in perspective as they come to terms with the unaccustomed taste of defeat. Last Saturday's 3-1 loss at Colchester was the Black Cats' first defeat in their last 18 games and it allowed Birmingham to later leapfrog them at the top of the table. However, Keane knows that two wins from their final two matches of the campaign against Burnley and relegated Luton will seal a return to the Premiership for the Wearsiders. One of the many success stories for Sunderland this season has been flying winger Carlos Edwards and givemefootball's Mark Shail caught up with the Trinidad and Tobago international as he collected his commemorative medal after being named in the Championship Team of the Year at Sunday's PFA Awards.
Q: CONGRATULATIONS, YOU MUST BE DELIGHTED?
A: It's third time lucky for me, having been named in the Team of the Year with Luton in League One and Wrexham in League Two, but it's the first time I've been honoured in the Championship and I'm very pleased. Hopefully, I can now go from strength to strength and keep playing well for Sunderland.
Q: IT MUST HAVE BEEN A GREAT EXPERIENCE FOR YOU PLAYING IN LAST SUMMER'S WORLD CUP?
A: It was great to be involved in the World Cup playing against quality players and quality teams and it is something that nobody can ever take away from you. It's the biggest stage in world football and it was a wonderful experience and a privilege to be there.
Q: AND YOU COULD CAP A TREMENDOUS 12 MONTHS BY SECURING A PLACE IN THE PREMIERSHIP?
A: It's every player’s dream to play in the Premiership and now Carlos Edwards has got an opportunity to get there with Sunderland. If we can win the last two games of the season we will be promoted and that would be a dream come true for me. We've got to stay positive but at the same time we realise there is still a long way to go.
Q: IT WAS A DISAPPOINTING RESULT AT THE WEEKEND AGAINST COLCHESTER, BUT THE CLUB'S DESTINY IS STILL VERY MUCH IN YOUR OWN HANDS?
A: People say good things always come to an end and I'm sorry that our run ended at the weekend, but like you say our fate is still in our own hands. Just two games to go now and we're not going to give up on what we have worked so hard to achieve all season. We'll keep doing the things that have brought us success and hopefully that will be enough to get us promoted.
Q: WHAT HAS ROY KEANE BROUGHT TO THE CLUB?
A: The main thing he has brought to the club is belief. He has made us all believe that we can be better players than we think we are. He tells us to go out and enjoy our football, which he did throughout his long career. He never accepted second best as a player and the players here at Sunderland don't expect him to accept second best as a manager - and that has made a big difference.
Q: AND A WORD ON YOUR FORMER CLUB LUTON?
A: It's very sad to see them relegated, but there have been a lot of negative things happening at the club this season. But next year they can start afresh, they have a new manager, and hopefully they can get back in the Championship where they rightfully belong. But we certainly won't be taking things easy against them in the last game of the season – we're playing for a place in the Premiership and need to win. But I wish them all the best.