Anthony Hayes has been appointed as Caretaker Manager of Charlton Athletic and will take control of the men’s first team until a replacement has been found for Ben Garner, who left the club yesterday.
Hayes, who was promoted to the role of Men’s First-Team Coach in the summer, will be supported by former Addicks captain and current U18s coach Jason Pearce.
The pair, alongside Goalkeeping Coach Glyn Shimell, will take the Addicks' Emirates FA Cup second-round replay away at Stockport County on Wednesday evening.
Speaking to CharltonTV, Hayes said: “My complete focus is on trying to help the players and giving them real clarity in how we want to look with and without the ball. That’s my first and foremost priority. Of course though, this is a massive football club, I have been here quite a few years now. I understand how big it is in the community and what it means to the fans, so of course in the time that I am doing this job I will give everything I can to make sure the team is successful.”
Pearce retired in the summer to join the Addicks academy coaching staff. “I have got to know Jason over my time at the football club,” Hayes explained. “He has been a wonderful servant both as a player and now as a coach, in terms of developing the next generation of young players here. He’s been a model professional, he understands changing rooms, he’s been promoted and he’s obviously got some good ties and affiliations with some of the players in our squad. He’s going to be a massive aid to us in the coming days, preparing for Stockport and then moving into the weekend.”
Garner was involved in promoting Hayes in the summer and the 36-year-old reserved praise for his former boss.
He said: “I’d like to recognise what a top fella Ben Garner is. How good he has been for me and with me since I have joined the management team. He was obviously desperate for the club to succeed and completely dedicated in trying to achieve that. It is obviously the horrible part of this industry, something we are all aware of. Like time, nothing stands still, we have to move forward as a football club and we have to prepare for tomorrow’s game as best we can.”
It has been a whirlwind few days for Hayes, who confirmed he had completed his UEFA Pro Licence on Sunday.
He said: “I started back in 2005, it has been 17 years, a lot of blood, sweat and tears have gone into me trying to refine my craft and understand this game that we all love and teach it really effectively. It is a very proud milestone for myself but in a situation like this, it is not about me, it is about helping this group of players and preparing them. We want to go up to Stockport tomorrow night, be as competitive as we can and progress into the third round.”
Supporters can listen to live coverage of Charlton’s trip to Stockport on CharltonTV. Click here to purchase an audio pass. Supporters in the UK can watch live coverage of Wednesday’s game on ITV4.