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'I've never felt so down': Edwards coping with criticism

It's hard to measure rock bottom on a footy field but Dylan Edwards is hoping two scrappy wins will prove a turning point for the Panthers ahead of Sunday's clash against the premiers on home turf.

Edwards concedes he'd never felt so low playing the game he loves after an off-season to forget for the club was soon compounded by poor on-field performances from the usual consistent fullback.

Add in the uncertainty surrounding the future of Edwards' biggest competition for the No.1 jersey, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, and the 23-year-old has been faced with his fair share of challenges in 2019.  

"I don't think I've ever felt so down during a season at any level, it was new for me," Edwards told

"There were a few performances that were very under par to what I set myself. I was dented with confidence at the start of the year and will be better for it.

"I hope I can do a bit better and finish on a better note. It obviously wasn't the ideal situation for how I was playing footy."

Panthers v Roosters - Round 13

A stint in reserve grade lasted longer than Edwards would've liked.

"I had to keep my spirits high. I didn't want to go back to Cup and be a downer. That's not the right attitude to have," Edwards said.

"As a side we've just taken it back to basics, playing for each other and the club. We're doing basic teamwork stuff we were missing the mark on earlier in the year and don't win you footy games.

"You go back trying to gain little wins on the field. When you're down everything seems to flow on and it's hard to find positives.

Top five Origin displays of courage

"So you start again and look for little positives. It creates a rolling effect also and has brought the mood up a bit."

If the Panthers want to start any type of miraculous run to the Telstra Premiership finals, they'll have to overcome the Roosters on Sunday.

The Tricolours will be without Luke Keary (concussion) and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (suspension), while Boyd Cordner, Latrell Mitchell and James Tedesco are no certainties to back from Origin.

"We'll train as though their best side will play," Edwards said.

"They've got a top tier side and are doing the small things right to win footy games. We haven't really thought about anything further than with where we are at, we just want to put in a better performance than last week and not make things too complicated."

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