Ben Garner is anticipating a great Valley occasion when Charlton host Brighton & Hove Albion in the Carabao Cup fourth round.
The Addicks were pitted against the Seagulls, who currently sit sixth in the Premier League, during Thursday night’s draw – with ties set to be played in the week commencing December 19th.
“We’ve got a really good Premier League club and a really good side,” said Garner in his Friday press conference. “For me, they’re probably one of the most progressive football clubs in this country over the last five, six years – they’ve got a brilliant owner, what they’ve done there and how they’ve gone about their business. It’ll be a fantastic game and a great occasion.
“I think in the Carabao, with some of the clubs in there and some of the historic grounds, I’m sure the supporters were wishing for an Anfield, an Old Trafford or the Etihad and I understand that element to it,” he added. “I think, in terms of playing Brighton, we’ve got a better chance of winning at home than we would have done playing away so for me that’s important.
“It’s a game that we’ll look forward to when it comes around and I believe it gives us three home games in that week in the Christmas period which is great. Hopefully that will give a nice bit of enjoyment in that period and some good games to look forward to.”
Asked if Brighton’s five-week break from action during the World Cup could prove helpful, Garner said: “I’ll let you know after the game! It can go either way; they could rest and come back refreshed; they could have lots of training time or, equally, they could come back a little bit rusty.
“For us, it’s going to depend how we do in the build-up to that, minimising injuries and keeping as many players available as possible. We’ll have to see nearer the time. It’s a great game to look forward to but we’ve got a lot of football to be played before then.”
The Addicks are the only London team left in this season’s Carabao Cup following the results in round three.
“It’s brilliant for the supporters because you want a little bit of bragging rights sometimes,” explained Garner. “There probably hasn’t been too many opportunities over the past few seasons to do that so it’s brilliant for the supporters.
“It’s a really unique situation; I wasn’t aware of it until I was told yesterday but for all of the other London clubs to go out – especially the big Premier League London clubs that have done really well in this competition – is surprising. For us, the focus was on getting through and it’s great that we’re there.”