Hart previews Barnsley clash

Paul Hart

Paul Hart spoke to the press on Thursday ahead of Saturday’s game against Barnsley at The Valley. 

The Assistant Manager took part in the pre-match press conference in the place of Nathan Jones, who had a family matter to deal with. 

Barnsley sit fifth in League One and boast the best away record in the division. When asked about the challenge they pose, Hart said: “In the Football League, wherever you play, you don’t get anywhere without being pretty good at what you do. I was a defender so I always look on the negative side and think they could be very good. When you think like that, it keeps you grounded and makes you prepare properly. We know that Barnsley, like many other teams in this division, if they get room to play, will play.”

Hart was asked about the availability of Kayne Ramsay, Lloyd Jones and Connor Wickham and, like Jones, was keen not to give too much away. He said: “They have been going through a strict regime. It’s possible [that they could be back]. We’re cautious but it's possible.”

The Addicks are unbeaten in 10 games and are sixth in the League One form table based on the last 10 games. Hart was asked if he was disappointed Charlton hadn’t been able to turn some of the draws into wins. He said: “I think everyone can see that in some of the games we could have picked up some more points. When we came in we were precariously placed, we dealt as much with the basics, keeping the ball away from the net and getting results. In that respect we're not disappointed.

“We’ve got a great bunch of lads who have really put their lot in over the last eight weeks. We’ve dug out results, we've played well and got results. We’ve also played well and not got the results that we've deserved in terms of wins instead of draws. We have a group of players that are giving their all - that is a massive head start on anybody. We're very pleased with that. We have to round off the edges here and there. You can’t do everything overnight.”

Saturday’s matchday is the club’s annual academy and Valley Gold day. Hart was the club’s Academy Director during his last stint at Charlton. He said: “I’m very proud to have worked in that department for two or three years. Fortunately, some of my friends are still here from that time. We realised that we had a recruitment area, I probably shouldn’t be saying this, that was very lucrative in terms of the quality of youngsters coming through. 

“The club has carried on; we had a history of developing young players, and that history has been cemented and is moving forward. I’m very excited to see these young players coming on. I'm a developer, overall. I want our kids to come through and get into the first-team, no question. There is a pathway. The room will be made for those that are good enough.”

Click here to purchase your ticket for Saturday's game against Barnsley.

Read Time: 3 mins