MICKY Mellon was highly critical of his Fleetwood Town side after Saturday’s defeat but at least one player escaped the manager’s harsh words.
Loan star Rob Edwards made a big impact on his new boss on his Town debut, despite the Cod Army’s 1-0 setback at home to Wycombe Wanderers.
The former Blackpool skipper had only joined Fleetwood last Thursday on a one-month loan deal from Barnsley, and was thrown straight into the Highbury action because of centre-half Steve McNulty’s calf injury.
Edwards had not played all season but put in an impressive show on his League Two bow.
Mellon said: “I thought Rob did very well. He brought new qualities to the team.
“We made his job very, very difficult by giving the ball away so cheaply and being so vulnerable on the break.
“But he coped admirably and showed he has good technique. We know he’s going to be a good player for us.”
Edwards acknowledged Fleetwood were well below their best on Saturday. He said: “We had a lot of posession but couldn’t seem to break them down.
“They put a lot of men behind the ball and we didn’t really create any clear-cut chances.
“We conceded one goal, then they put 10 men behind the ball and that was it really.”
Bruno Andrade, on loan from QPR, cut inside Alan Goodall to shoot low across keeper Scott Davies for the matchwinner after only nine minutes.
But Edwards was philosophical about the strike, which cost Town a seventh clean sheet of the season.
He said: “You can stop every goal theoretically. We’ve looked at it and we’ll look at it again.
“There are probably three or four mistakes leading up to any goal and this was no exception, but that’s football and we’ll bounce back.”
The loan move has come at the right time for Edwards, who has been sidelined through injury for much of the past year.
He said: “The last first team game I played was against Blackpool in February or March last season. I’ll get sharper with every game I play.
“I’ve been injured until, well, this week, so it’s been a bit of a quick turnaround
“I’ve literally not trained all season, so it’s a great chance to get match-fit and who knows where it will go.”
One man impressed with Fleetwood’s latest addition was goalkeeper Scott Davies.
The keeper said: “You look at the players we’re bringing in now, the big names, and you can’t help but get a lift from it.
“Rob has played at the highest level, as an international footballer with Wales and in the Championship and Premier League.
Having somebody like that playing in front of you is inspiring. You want to prove that you can play at the same level.
“Rob’s a good talker and had a great game on Saturday.
Maybe some of those around him didn’t quite match up to that.”
n Fleetwood have been drawn away to Hartlepool United in the first round of the FA Youth Cup a week tomorrow (October 24). The match at Victoria Park will kick off at 7pm.