Holden: Support shows what this club is capable of

Dean Holden

Manager Dean Holden has hailed the club’s “incredible” away support ahead of Tuesday’s Carabao Cup quarter final against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Nearly 9,000 supporters will be making the midweek trip to the Theatre of Dreams to cheer on their side.

In this year’s competition so far, the Addicks have already knocked out Championship and Premier League opposition and, while he of course has the utmost respect for Tuesday’s opposition, he is hopeful that his team can put in a performance that those travelling fans can be proud of.

“In order you achieve anything, first of all you've got to believe it and more than that you have got to manifest it and commit to it so much,” he said at his pre-match press conference.

“We can't say for sure that we're going to go and beat Manchester United because they are an elite opponent, so for us it is just about being at our best with and without the ball and I have been pleased with our last couple of performances. We have had a good balance of attacking play and defensive solidarity.

"A long-winded answer about whether we can go there and win is 'why not?'. Stevenage went to Aston Villa on Sunday [in the FA Cup] and pulled off a major shock.

“It's going to be an amazing experience for our young player to see what this level looks like, these experiences will stand them in good stead.

“The support, nearly 10,000 of them going up there with no trains coming back to London, is just incredible. It shows you what this club is capable of. I want us to go there and show what this club is about”

The gaffer, who hails from Salford, grew up as a Manchester United supporter and he recalled once sneaking into a Champions League match by grabbing a steward’s jacket and radio.

He will have plenty of family in attendance at the game and he is hoping to do them proud.

He said: “It was Borussia Dortmund in the quarter-final. My dad, uncle and brother-in-law were all stewards years ago. I got let down on a ticket. I’ve got to be careful here, my dad might get in trouble for this!

“One of the stewards didn’t turn up so there was a spare hi-vis jacket and a radio. I went and sat by the tunnel where you walk out, by my old man. God knows what I’d have done if there’d been a pitch invasion or something like that.”

Holden continued: “Tuesday will be surreal. Twenty-eight of my family will be there – they have been begging and borrowing tickets. My wife and kids will be there and so will my dad, he’s been a [United] supporter his whole life so it will be pretty special for him. I’m pleased for him that’s he’s going to see me coming out at Old Trafford.”

Fans worldwide can listen to live audio commentary of Tuesday's last-eight tie (8pm KO GMT). Click here to purchase your audio pass.

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