Middlesbrough v Burnley preview: Edgar says there's no time for celebrating (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Middlesbrough v Burnley preview: Edgar says there's no time for celebrating
DAVID Edgar didn’t have to speak when asked if beating Bolton Wanderers was all the more special because he had such a frustrating first season. A first season under Owen Coyle.
Having started only one Carling Cup game – at Hartlepool – after turning down a new contract at boyhood and first club Newcastle United to sign for the Scot, the answer was obvious.
But with three league games in the first week, the Championship doesn’t allow time for celebrations.
Besides, Edgar isn’t motivated by one-upmanship over one man. Both he and Burnley have a much wider agenda this season.
Saturday was just the start.
“We’re really happy. I couldn’t have been happier. It was a fantastic performance from start to finish but it’s back down to business. We have another game to prepare for,” said the defender.
“We’re happy with the start but we want to take maximum points from our first two games.”
The Clarets ’ quest this season is clear; to maintain the feelgood factor on the road that was borne from 10 away wins last term – almost equalling a club record in the league - and improve on, in stark contrast, their worst Turf Moor return in Championship since 2007/08.
After waiting until their fifth home league game for a win, albeit a 5-1 thumping of Nottingham Forest on September 27, they only went on to celebrate six more successes there.
Three points and a clean sheet against local rivals and promotion favourites, in front of their own fans, has set the tone this time.
“We want to go into every game with confidence and knowing we can win every game,” said Edgar.
“We have that with the good start. It was good to get the points at home after our form there last season.
“It (the first win) is out of the way and we want to see how long we can go unbeaten for now and that’s the main thing.
“If we can maintain the away form from last season and pick up more points at home – that was a good start against a team who I think will be up there at the end of it.
“But we want to be up there and try to take as many points as we can and keep on winning.
“We have to take that momentum from Saturday into tonight.”
And Edgar is expecting a particularly stern test after Middlesbrough suffered an opening day defeat at Barnsley.
“They’re a top team. They didn’t get the win they wanted on Saturday so they’re going to want to come out and perform in their first game at home. It’s going to be tough,” said the Canadian, who knows his attacking team-mates will have to be on top of their game to get the better of returning Middlesbrough defender Jonathan Woodgate.
“He was one of the best centre halves I saw play at Newcastle. I was still sort of around the Academy when he was there,” added Edgar, who came through the ranks at St James’ Park.
“I always said that without his injuries he would have easily been England centre half..
“I definitely look up to him, but I’m on the other team now.
“Last year we went to Middlesbrough and put in a really tough performance and we want to do that again.
“Hopefully that will be good enough to get three points.
“We’ve had a good start and we want to continue that.
“Obviously the occasion was big on Saturday with it being against Bolton, and we rose to the occasion. Now we have to do that again on a tough away trip.
“We’ve set the bar really high now with Saturday’s performance and we’ve got to keep it up and keep going.”
And Edgar, who played in all bar two of Burnley’s 51 games last term and started this season alongside summer signing Jason Shackell, hopes to continue to play his part.
“It’s been a good 12 months for me, I’ve played a lot of football and I wouldn’t change it for anything,” said the 25-year-old, who has earned four international caps this calendar year.
“I played a few games back home in the summer for Canada in the World Cup qualifiers and then I was straight back here to play again. It’s been fantastic.”
Of Saturday’s game, he added: “I wanted to be involved and put in a performance and get the win.
“It was frustrating (in my first season) but I wanted to go out there – not just because it was that game and that team – it was the first game of the season and I wanted to have a good game, put in a performance, especially at home and get off to a good start.”
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