Holden: ‘I expect a response’

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Dean Holden says he expects a response from his players when Charlton take on Port Vale at The Valley on Saturday.

The Addicks suffered a stoppage-time reverse at the hands of Bristol Rovers in midweek.

“It’s a game where I expect a response from our players,” said the gaffer. “I know the fans will be right behind us from kick-off. I expect the players to go out and continue from where we've been recently, taking the game to the opposition. Hopefully we can take the chances when they come and the game looks completely different.

“I’m a big believer that you get out of life what you put in. We've got a real belief in this group of players, this group of staff and the way we work. How do you bounce back? We've approached this week as if we had won the game on Tuesday night in terms of the consistency and the way we work."

“Of course, we need a little bit of fine tuning and we need to be more clinical with our chances,” he continued. “We're creating those moments around the opposition goal but not quite doing enough defensively to keep the ball out of the net at the moment. Anyone that has been to our last few games will have seen a team that has given everything and deserved a bit more. The facts are the facts, we deal with them and we stay positive.

We have open and honest conversations, we work diligently and we work hard. We look to continuously improve. We're a team that has got a lot of work to do, we know where we need to improve and we must keep trying to do that.”

Port Vale were condemned to a 7-0 defeat at Barnsley on the opening day but have since beaten Reading 1-0 and earned a goalless draw at Blackpool.

“You’ve only got to look at the stats of that game to see that Barnsley had eight attempts on goal and scored seven,” explained Holden. “A lot of the other stats around that game Port Vale were better than them. I think it was a freak result having watched the game back.

“They’re a team that have played consistently in a back five, sometimes with two strikers and a 10 and then sometimes two 10s and a striker. Of course, we know where their strengths are.

“They’re a team that are quite expansive with the ball in terms of their back three being split really wide. You've got to make sure you get the pressure on at the right time. Having said that, the ball will come forward and you have to defend second balls in that midfield area, long throws as well and they’re big on set pieces.”

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