Joe Edwards: Millwall's 'special fans' can be a 'strong force' at The Den

N'Golo Kante (left) and Joe Edwards

New Millwall manager Joe Edwards believes the club's fans are the strength the team must draw on to help improve their fortunes on the field.

Edwards, 37, replaced Gary Rowett as manager of the Lions on Monday, having been in interim charge of England's under-20 side.

Millwall are 18th in the Championship and have not won in five league games.

"I do know these fans can be a very special bunch in a very good way," Edwards told BBC Radio London.

"When The Den is onside and behind the team it's a very strong force.

"There are a lot of people who, for a long time, have been strongly connected and attached to the club.

"There's so much passion and support that, understandably, there's an expectation around that so there's definitely a strong connection between the fanbase and the club.

"That unity - you make that a strength."

Ashley Cole, Joe Edwards and Frank Lampard (from left to right) at Chelsea
Edwards (centre) was brought to Everton by Frank Lampard (right) after the pair combined at Chelsea

From Chelsea and Everton to England

Having been released as a youth-team player at Chelsea when he was 16, Edwards embarked on a coaching career and was part of the first-team staff at both Stamford Bridge and Everton under Frank Lampard.

Edwards believes his experience in his time at Goodison Park could serve him well in south-east London.

"I lived it in a similar time at Everton when things aren't looking how they should look, or effort level is questioned, the fans will voice their concern," he added.

"But, at the same time, it's a two-way street. When you produce something on the pitch that is worthy of them getting behind you then it can be a really strong force.

"I've had nothing but support at the moment, which I'm incredibly grateful for, and I know the job is maintaining that relationship."

Edwards said although he wanted The Den to be noisy, he would be remaining more calm on the touchline.

"I'm fairly considered," he said. "I'm not one that believes you can have an incredible impact with constantly giving your players instructions or gesturing - that is my preference.

"I'm more along the lines of get the work done in the week knowing that when the players are out there in front of 20 or 30 thousand, and it's pressure and happening at a split second, they have to be conditioned to make good decisions.

"I'm certainly there to make interventions, decisions and changes, and I'll input energy through praise, but I cant see me up and down the technical area for 90 minutes."

Edwards' first game in charge is a visit to bottom side Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.