Holden looks ahead to Oxford trip


Dean Holden says his players are relishing Thursday’s trip to Oxford United.

The Addicks head to the Kassam Stadium on the back of a 1-1 draw against eighth-placed Peterborough United in SE7 on Boxing Day in what was Holden's first game at the helm.

“We take the point from Peterborough and we’re now really looking forward to this Oxford game,” said the manager in his pre-game press conference. “We’re going to try and implement our style on them to try and come back to Charlton with three points. That’s the aim.

“Obviously Karl has been in there a while now and they have got a style of play,” he continued. “All of the players are embedded into that philosophy and they have got some real threats in the forward areas.

“Obviously we know where their threats are and, like any game, it’s important that we actually go out and make sure we exploit their weaknesses. I’m really confident that there’s players in this team that can do that.”

Charlton travel to Oxfordshire in pursuit of a first league win in eight. Asked how confident he is of turning the Addicks’ fortunes around, Holden said: “I’m extremely confident and that’s why I came into the job. I look at the group of players, I look at the potential and I look at the young players coming through as well.

“It was brilliant to see the two youngsters up front [Daniel Kanu and Miles Leaburn] linking up for that goal on Saturday – what a brilliant moment that was. Nessy [Lucas Ness] is another one that has come in and done really well. He almost goes unnoticed but he’s someone I’ve been really impressed with.

“We’ve got young Aaron Henry coming through and obviously Zach [Mitchell] and Deji [Elerewe] as well so there's plenty to look forward to in that regard. We need to obviously focus on results in the short term but they will be a big part of that.”

The boss provided an encouraging update on Chuks Aneke, as well as a more general update on the fitness of his squad as the hectic festive schedule continues.

“It’s a real positive with Chuks in terms of the scan that’s come back,” revealed Holden. “There’s no muscle damage but he’s still feeling something so there’s still some investigations to look into what that is and why. Certainly the belly of the muscle is intact and that’s a real positive.

“That will be a day-to-day thing with Chuks and we’ll assess him as we go. We need to get to the bottom of it. Obviously he’s had some injury problems previously so we need to make sure that we get him back fit as soon as we can.

“There’s been a little bit of illness in the camp,” the gaffer added. “Naturally it’s just around the country at the moment at this time of year and whatever else so we’re trying to minimise that as much as we can.

"Injury-wise there’s one or two that we’re looking at who can’t play three games in six days due to different reasons – previous injury records and all that sort of stuff. We have to take that information in and we have to use it wisely."

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