Press Conference | Rob Edwards pre Grimsby Town (H)

Manager Rob Edwards said his side have to ‘accept the pressure’ ahead of Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup fourth round tie against Grimsby Town.


Following progression versus fellow Championship side Wigan Athletic in the previous round, Edwards and his team will now go head-to-head with League Two opposition.

Nevertheless, the boss insists the players will have to be at their best to earn their spot in the competition against the Mariners who will be full of confidence having already knocked out three teams in a higher division to themselves.

“We’ve been talking about it all week and the only way we win is by winning this weekend,” Edwards admitted in his pre-match press conference. “We accept that, we know we’re favourites, we’re at home, up against a team a couple of divisions below and we know what we have to do but all the while respecting Grimsby, recognising that they’ve knocked out three teams already from the league above them.

“It’s certainly not going to be easy, we’ve got to make sure that we’re at it, we’re respectful and incredibly hard-working as we have been because that is what helps us win football matches.”

Fred Onyedinma returned to the matchday squad last Saturday but was an unused substitute at the DW Stadium. In need of minutes, the 26-year-old could be one of many players in contention to feature at the weekend.

“He gives us another dynamic, something different. That pure pace that he’s got, the trickery and the ability to beat a player and take a couple of players out of the game on their own, it’s quite rare in football. To have someone who can do that, or another one that can do that for us, is really good.

“We’re keen to try and get him involved and on the pitch but it’s got to be right to do so. It’s brilliant to have him back training with the players, he looks really comfortable and looks a lot more happy with his body. He was trying when we first came in the building but he wasn’t quite right and he was holding back. That’s not the case now.”

Finally, if selected, midfielder Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu will make his 350th appearance for the club and Edwards was full of praise for the DR Congo international having worked with him for the last few months.

“It’s an amazing landmark and he’ll get there whether it’s this weekend or whether it’s Tuesday, he will get that. I love him to bits already. Not been working with him that long but he’s a brilliant person, he brings an amazing energy to work every single day, he gives everything every single day and you see that on a matchday.

“You guys would have seen it, the fans would have seen it for a number of years, he gives everything and that is all anybody could ever ask of something. That’s why he has come through and continues to perform at this level because he gives everything, all that he can give, he leaves it out there every single day and I can’t respect him any more than I do. He’s a wonderful person.

“It’s incredible, brilliant achievement and shows what a good player he is as well because to get 350 games he’s getting selected a lot, everyone, no matter what manager has been here in that period of time, they’ve picked him.”

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