CARLOS EDWARDS feels like he has arrived back home after returning from a loan stint at Wolves prematurely.
Edwards has endured one of the most frustrating 18 months of his life after injuries and a lack of match fitness have prevented him from holding down a place in Roy Keane’s top-flight team.
But with Keane searching for pace down the flanks, the Trinidad & Tobago winger has been recalled in the hope that he can provide the deliveries to the forwards Sunderland have lacked this season.
While he was enjoying life at the top of the Championship with Mick McCarthy’s Wolves, Edwards was grateful to hear the call demanding his early return to Wearside.
His substitute appearance in last Sunday’s defeat to West Ham highlighted how things have quickly turned around for him, given that his only other appearance for the Black Cats this season was against Liverpool on the opening day.
Keane has felt Edwards has lacked confidence since last season’s stopstart campaign, when his rookie Premier League season was interrupted by hamstring problems.
The manager now feels satisfied the player is approaching his best after several appearances for Wolves.
“Sometimes you have to go back to go forward,” said Edwards, who feels the experience of overcoming a cruciate ligament injury in 2003 helped make him stronger.
“The manager was keeping a close eye on me and now I’m back for more. I have been unlucky since I helped this club back to the Premier League, but injuries do happen. It’s been like a roller-coaster, things can only get better.
“I’m relishing the opportunity and I want to take it with both hands .
Those 18 months were one of the lowest periods of my career.
I worked so hard to fulfil my childhood dream of playing in the Premier League. It hurt me when I suffered the injuries.”
Having spent six weeks away from Sunderland, Edwards has lost out on a large amount of time to familiarise himself with his Sunderland team-mates.
He is excited by the prospect of competing in a new-look aquad by turning in the type of displays that helped Sunderland win the Championship.
“I felt like a new signing when I got back, which was strange because this has been my home. But it was a relief,” said the 30-year-old.
“The last week or so has been exciting. It was nice to get the call. The manager obviously feels I have had enough games to get my sharpness back.
“I have to try to give him what he wants and that means me performing to the levels I know I can. I am my biggest critic. Looking back at all the injuries, my sharpness was not there, my head was not right. Now the Carlos Edwards of old is back.”