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New dawn giving Edgar optimism
DAVID Edgar believes a new era at Burnley is helping him to get over his World Cup disappointment with Canada.
The defender has spoken for the first time about having qualification hopes for Brazil 2014 destroyed in their final group game of the penultimate stage.
After beating Cuba 3-0 and going joint top of the group in their previous match, with Edgar scoring a spectacular goal to add to the clean sheet, Canada needed only a point to guarantee progress.
Canada had previously only made it to one World Cup – Mexico 1986. But having kept four clean sheets out of five they had every reason to be optimistic.
Disaster struck, however, as they were thrashed 8-1 by Honduras – an outcome which Edgar freely admits he is still struggling to come to terms with almost three weeks on.
“I haven’t really got over that. I just shut myself off to all of it,” said the 25-year-old.
“It’s still raw but you just have to get on with it. The hardest part is that we have to wait a few years for another campaign but I will be more experienced when it comes around and I can hopefully help the other players but it was tough to take.
“It’s a blur now and I don’t know how it happened.
“I haven’t talked about it much, even with my parents or the guys in the Canada team.
“We flew home right after the game but I was home less than 24 hours and then flew here.
“It was tough to take. I went for lunch with my mum and it was all over the sports channels and I thought ‘I’m getting out of here’.
“It was the only time I really wanted to get out of the country.
“But you have to take it on the chin and move on.”
Canada’s motto, a line from their national anthem, is See Thee Rise, and that’s exactly what Edgar intends to do now he is back on club duty. He returned to huge changes at Turf Moor, following the departure of Eddie Howe.
But he believes a new era, with the arrival of Sean Dyche last week, has helped to give him a new focus.
“It’s a fresh start. Everyone is fighting for their place again,” said Edgar, who was restored to the side for the new manager’s debut game against Wolves on Saturday, and impressed in an unfamiliar holding midfield role. “I really enjoyed it. I’ve played there before and there have been times I’ve played there and – not felt lost – but it’s tough adapting to the position. But on Saturday I felt I got to grips with it and covered a lot of ground.
“If I’m chosen to play there again I’ll love it and hopefully do a job there.”
Burnley battled their way to a clean sheet on Saturday – their first consecutive shut-outs of the season at home – and Edgar believes it was down to the fighting spirit that Dyche has already instilled into the side.
“It’s been high intensity training. There’s a real good work ethic from all the boys and it’s been demanding,” he said.
“Saturday epitomised the week we had and the way we went about training throughout the week.
“We had a game-plan to go there and get in their faces and press.
“We defended well as a unit and we had free-flowing attacking play.
“It was a good start and it carried on throughout the game.
“We restricted them through the 90 minutes to long-range shots. I don’t think Lee Grant had to make a save in the first half.
“That’s three wins out of four and they have all been good performances, bar Cardiff.
“That’s helped us along the way, especially with the transition per-iod.”
Edgar is looking to make it four wins out of five with the visit of Leeds United tonight.
“We’ve always had a good record on a Tuesday night at home,” he said. “We seem to raise our game.
“Saturday’s in the past, we are playing a massive club and we want to leapfrog Leeds in the league. Three points would be massive to help us put a run together.
“If we can put back-to-back wins together we can go into the weekend with bags of confidence.
“We just need to take it one step at a time, go out (tonight) and put in a performance again.”
Edgar, for whom Dyche is his fourth Burnley manager in just over three years, added: “As soon as the new manager has come in we’ve adapted to his style, we are tweaking things, and it was a great end to a good week.
“Everyone is fighting for their place again.”
But Edgar did not expect a similar mentality to stretch to his two British Bulldogs, whose Friday night fight led to the former Newcastle United defender going to Burnley General Hospital for a tetanus injection after Saturday’s game.
He added: “They were fast asleep and I woke them up to go to bed. They started wrestling and I went to break them up and one bit me.
“They are not the fighting type. They are just lazy. They are good dogs but I got in the way!
“My fiancee is over (from Canada) so I called her downstairs and there was blood running down my hand.
“We didn’t have any plasters in the house so the bandage was pretty home-made. I had kitchen roll and masking tape on.
“I slept with that and it was thumping! But I managed to get my rest and then strapped it up for the game. You forget about it when you are playing and then afterwards you realise how sore it is.”