Mansfield Town defender Paul Edwards ready to kick-start season

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NEW Mansfield Town defender Paul Edwards is hoping to kick-start his faltering season by helping Stags close in on the play-off places.

The experienced left-back signed on a loan month deal from Blue Square Premier league leaders Fleetwood Town yesterday and is expected to slot straight into the side for the long trip to Ebbsfleet United.

The 32-year-old, who has played more than 300 Football League and non-league games, was a summer target for Paul Cox before he opted to join the promotion-chasing Cod Army.

But Edwards failed to break into the Fleetwood side following a long-lay off with injury sustained in pre-season and has played just eight times for the high-flyers this season.

Said Edwards: “The move happened really quick but I am delighted to be here. It was very frustrating at Fleetwood not playing games.

“Last season I played 43 games, but I was injured in pre-season and was out for three months. The injury set me back and meant I have been playing catch up with my fitness.

“At the start of the season I thought Mansfield would be up there, they are a dangerous team that have players who can have a go at you. It is a great set up here and a good bunch of lads. I spoke to Mansfield in the summer and now I am finally here.

“I am confident I can do well for the club and, if all goes well, I want to play as many games for Mansfield Town as I can.”

Edwards is likely to slot straight into the side against mid-table Ebbsfleet at the expense of Joe Kendrick, in what he believes will be a tough away day.

Added Edwards: “Ebbsfleet are a tricky team. They have a lot of honest players and it will not be an easy game. Having said that, we are playing well at the moment and there is no reason why we cannot go there and win.”

During his career Manchester-born Edwards has played for Barrow, Wrexham, Blackpool, Port Vale, Oldham Athletic, Swindon Town and Doncaster Rovers.

Stags could extend the loan for a maximum of three months with the agreement of all parties and, if he does well, doubtless the permanent signing of Edwards will be a summer possibility.