Plymouth skipper Edwards enjoying test of 'powerful' Championship
Plymouth skipper Joe Edwards cannot speak highly enough of the quality in the Championship this season after returning to the division for the first time since 2014.
The 33-year-old defender, who brought up his 200th Argyle appearance against Coventry last month, has been a key figure in the club's four-year rise from League Two.
And Edwards is loving life in the second tier with Plymouth 16th in the table going into today's match at leaders Leicester after last weekend's 2-1 victory over Stoke.
He told LiveScore: "The playing style is a lot quicker and more powerful.
"It's just incredible at the moment. The Championship, it's almost like a second Premier League!
"The quality was there before but not quite on this scale. I'm lucky to be back in such an amazing division.
"You go to every stadium and it's packed out. The whole team is really enjoying the experience. But we still want to improve and learn from our mistakes."
A trip to the King Power Stadium represents arguably the toughest test in the Championship this season — but Edwards and his team-mates are relishing the opportunity.
The Plymouth captain said: "We will be massive underdogs at Leicester but we've also got some confidence behind us.
"So we can give it a good go and we're not the kind of team that sits back. We've got a positive manager and a young team full of belief.
"Leicester are arguably the best team the Championship has ever seen but we want to put in a performance the 3,000 travelling fans can be proud of."
Lucky to have him
A key reason behind Plymouth's rise is manager Steven Schumacher's impact since taking over from Ryan Lowe in December 2021.
And Edwards is enjoying his time working alongside the 39-year-old coach — who celebrated his second anniversary in the job on Thursday.
He said: "We were all really confident with him [Schumacher] taking charge and it was a smooth process.
"He has such a great knowledge of football and is always researching other top managers to take little bits of information.
"We're lucky to have him. He's great to work with and a big presence on the training pitch.
"I just cannot speak highly enough of him."
Edwards credits Schumacher with helping him learn the intricacies of the modern full-back role.
He added: "I'm as fit as I've ever been.
"And the last four years, I've probably played the best football of my career.
"However, I'm still learning the complexities of the modern full-back role, what to do position-wise, my body shape when defending and the passing side of the game.
"But I'm learning off a brilliant manager and enjoying every minute."
The skipper is also loving the role of mentoring a young Plymouth squad with in-form attacker Morgan Whittaker, 22, a prime example.
Edwards said: "Morgan has been brilliant. He's a great lad off the pitch as well. The supporters love him.
"For me as captain, it's massive to have someone of his quality who wants to be here.
"I always say, down here at Argyle you're not just team captain, you're captaining the whole club.
"It's a city where everyone knows everyone and a big responsibility but I really enjoy it — I've got a brilliant connection with the fans.
"And I like having that responsibility of looking after the younger lads."