Holden: 'It's really important for us to finish strongly'


Dean Holden stressed the need for his side to finish the season with a win at Cheltenham Town on Sunday.

The Addicks travel to the Completely-Suzuki Stadium seeking successive victories following last weekend's 3-2 triumph at home to Port Vale.

“It’s really important for us to finish the season strongly for a number of reasons,” said the boss. “There’s going to be opportunities for some players to get some game time. We want to build that optimism for next season with our support base. We had a good end to our home campaign last weekend and we want the same from home.

“There will be good travelling support, as we always get, and it’s important that we don’t take this game lightly. I’ve said before about the three points available and everything that goes with that. We want to end the season, which has been a tough season all-round, with some confidence to build some optimism for next season.

“Our supporters always travel away from home really well and we really appreciate that because it’s not easy, as I’ve said before. We’ve had a decent away record since I came in - don’t get me wrong we’ve had a couple of upsetting performances and results, but we’ve had some good results as well. We hope we can give them a good bank holiday weekend and finish the season in style.

“As a professional footballer the game should mean everything to you; I don’t give a monkey’s what stage of the season we’re at, it’s as simple as that. We’ve had good preparation this week and we’re looking forward to a tough game, but a game that we believe we can get a result from.”

Asked what challenge Cheltenham will pose, Holden said: “They’ve obviously got Alfie May up front who gets mentioned a lot because he’s had a really good season in terms of the goals that he’s scored. I remember the game at The Valley actually. It was just before I came into the job and it was a game that I watched back on video. In that game I remember they sat quite deep, they counter-attacked and they found quite a lot of space in behind our backline. They allowed us to have the ball and they looked to break from there. I’ve watched a number of their recent games and it will be a tough game for us. Obviously they will want to finish their season off at home in a strong manner too.”

Sean Clare is an injury concern having been forced off on Saturday, while Holden has not yet made a decision on George Dobson, who received his 14th yellow card of the campaign against the Valiants. That means the skipper would be handed a three-match ban, which would kick in at the start of the 2023/24 season, if he collected another caution this weekend.

“There’s a doubt over Sean,” revealed the manager. “This ankle injury has been niggling away for the last couple of weeks and obviously he came off in the last few games as well. Sean’s looking unlikely as it sits right now, but other than that we’re as we were.”

“I’ve not made a final decision yet,” he added. “There’s a lot to think about with that - how much is it going to play into George’s mindset if he does play? You don’t want to be going into a game wary of not going in for a tackle or being 100 per cent committed and George Dobson is the most committed player you’ll see with a Charlton shirt on. I’ll make a decision on that over the next 24 hours.”

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