Holden on Peterborough, Brighton cup tie and Chuks Aneke


It has been a busy first few days for new Charlton Manager, Dean Holden, following his appointment on Tuesday, and he is looking to build on the boost Wednesday’s penalty shootout win against Brighton & Hove Albion has given the club.

He will be on the touchline for the first time for the club’s Boxing Day game against Peterborough United and is very much looking forward to it.

He said: “I’ve learned new things just by meeting people. I was on the outside looking in. It was great to be at The Valley the other night to see the reaction from the supporters, first and foremost, when we got the result. You could see the togetherness on the pitch. There was a concentration level there, obviously we gave the ball up to Brighton. It was a much needed boost for everybody – you could feel that after the game. It is important we really feed on that and continue that positivity.

“I’ve had good meetings with the players as a group, some individuals as well. I’ve got to meet all the staff, there are some really good people here, there really is – they want this club to do well. My job is to come in and start to get results on the pitch. In the short term, how do we do that? We need to increase our performances in terms of: I want us to play on the front foot more, with and without the ball, I want to see more energy when we lose it and I certainly want to see us getting in behind teams and play in around their box a lot more than we have been doing. It was a great evening the other night, compounded by the draw as well, which I am sure everyone is excited about. We’ve got to keep that in the back of our minds, as we’ve got three games in six days on the horizon. I’m excited, it has been a great two or three days.”

Peterborough is a club Holden knows well from his playing career, which included two years at Posh. Only the top two teams have scored more goals than Peterborough in League One this season and Holden was asked about the threat they pose.

“I worked with Jonson Clarke-Harris previously at Oldham,” he said. “He is obviously a massive handful at this level. They don’t draw many games, they’ve won 10, lost 10, drawn one. It is incredible to think they have lost 10 games and they are where they are in the league. We’ll do our due diligence on Peterborough. At the same time, with the short turnaround in terms of me being appointed and the lack of training we are going to have, it is very much around us and how we want to take the game. I’ve said it all week, we want to be on the front foot. There will be times in the game we might come under it a little bit, need to defend and protect your areas of the pitch but certainly I want to see more energy in terms of going after the ball and giving them problems. That’s the message, that’s down to me to make sure that happens on the pitch. I’m sure the players will be looking forward to it.”

The Addicks return to The Valley on Boxing Day to take on Peterborough UnitedClick here to get your tickets for the opening game of the Dean Holden era.

The progression in the Carabao Cup and an away tie against Manchester United, has given the whole club a lift which Holden has been pleased to see.

He said: “We’ve had a chat this morning with the players. There is the performance and results against Plymouth, Derby, Portsmouth, the draw with Ipswich. We’re not asking the players to go out and do something they have not done before. It is a consistency level. We’ve dropped points against teams in the bottom half of the table and that’s why we are where we are in the league. It is the consistency on a daily basis, that is what I am asking for.

“The message is very clear, it is literally about bringing your best every single day. You hear people talking about focussing on the next game, no we are not, we are focussing on today’s training session, today’s meeting, today’s recovery and then we roll in to tomorrow where we go again and before we know it, we are building up that in the bank. Get them thinking 'can I be a brilliant teammate?' And try and get some togetherness and positivity.

“It’s about lifting everybody and trying bring everybody together, supporters as well. You can see they will buy in completely when they see a team on the pitch, we’re a representation of them and they want to people giving absolutely everything for 96 minutes. No doubt we did that the other night, we now have to do that in the league against Peterborough.

“We couldn’t get on the grass this morning because of the rain, so we were up on the Astro turf. It was a nice message because we talked a lot about adapting, not making excuses, making it a ‘no excuse’ culture. So that was good to get our heads around that quickly, it was a really good training session, it was bright, it was sharp, the lads worked really hard. Early signs have been good.”

Chuks Aneke limped off shortly after coming on against Brighton and Holden revealed the club are awaiting results from a scan.

“He had a scan this morning,” he explained. “We wanted to wait 48 hours to see how that settled down. We’ll see how that scan comes back late afternoon today. He’s had a few injury problems, we need to get to the bottom of that and get that right. In terms of the longer-term ones no-one will be back for the Peterborough game.

“In terms of recovery, Scott Fraser seems ok. We’re still within 48 hours of that game, from a physical perspective, Brighton asked a lot of us most of the game, particularly in that second half, the players covered a lot of ground. Recovery has been the key thing, so it has been a lot of messaging around video meetings and there will continue to be going in to three games in six days, there is not going to be too much time to be on the training ground.”

The Addicks return to The Valley on Boxing Day to take on Peterborough UnitedClick here to get your tickets for the opening game of the Dean Holden era.

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