Garner on Portsmouth clash and Aneke’s return


Ben Garner wants to see his team take the confidence from Tuesday’s win against Exeter City into Monday’s game against Portsmouth at The Valley.

The Addicks played some excellent football in a 4-2 victory against Exeter and face a Pompey side that have started their 2022/23 League One campaign in good form.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Garner said: “It was a much-needed confidence booster [beating Exeter]. I think it was needed. It’s ironic, I don’t think there is much difference in the performances from previous games. In fact I think we’ve actually played better in some games and lost – that’s the nature of football.

“We’ve got to take the confidence from it, hopefully we’ll get some good form and momentum on the back of Tuesday night now. There is a nice spring in the step of the players over the last couple of days which is great to see. We’re really looking forward to Portsmouth on Monday night.”

Portsmouth currently sit fourth in League One after a very strong start to the season although they are without a win in their last three league games.

Garner said: “They’ve had a fantastic start and I thought they recruited really well in the summer. They lost Marcus Harness, which they generated a good transfer fee for and they reinvested some of that into their squad. They’ve used the loan market exceptionally well. I think they’ve got a really competitive, strong League One squad and that has shown at the start of the season.

”We’re fully aware of what a good side they are and what challenge they will pose us but as always, at home, we’ll be looking to expose them and win the game and hopefully follow-up with another three points.”

While Charlton will be without Miles Leaburn, Chuks Aneke returned on Tuesday and made an immediate impact.

“It was fantastic to have him back,” said Garner. “He scores within two minutes but it’s not just that, some of his other touches - the touch to Corey [Blackett-Taylor] for Jack Payne’s goal, it was great to have him back.

”It was absolutely lovely to have three forwards available for one game but we’re back down to two unfortunately. It’s great to have Chuks back though and the focus is now keeping him fit and available and having him as an option for us to do what he does.”

The Addicks have started each of the last two game with two recognised strikers in the starting lineup. With Leaburn set for a spell on the sidelines, Garner was asked how his approach would change.

“I think there are different options, we’ve got different ways of playing,” he said. “We’ve had two good training sessions the last two days working how we are going to play with and without the ball. I thought we did that well on Tuesday night. We didn’t play a flat 4-4-2, we played a different shape in possession to identify key areas where we thought we could hurt them and pull them out of their shape. We did that really well and that will be similar on Monday night, we need to target the areas that we think are key against Portsmouth.

“How do we hurt them? How do we create? How do we get as many shots as possible? Whilst at the same time being solid ourselves defensively and restricting them.

”We’ve got good options within the squad. There is flexibility there but it is obviously a very different profile to Miles; whoever comes in is not going to be the same physical profile or same type of player.”

The Addicks host Portsmouth at The Valley on Monday. Click here to purchase your tickets

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