Dean Holden wants to see his Charlton side match the intensity they showed at Manchester United when the Addicks host Barnsley on Saturday.
Holden’s men earned plenty of plaudits for their display at Old Trafford, battling away after Antony’s stylish 21st-minute opener and enjoying sustained periods of pressure, particularly in the second period, prior to Marcus Rashford’s late double.
Asked what his side can take from Tuesday’s performance, Holden said: “Within the performance, I think the intensity that we played with - certainly after half-time. We came out of the blocks in the start of the second half and really took the game to Man United. We were the better team for 15-20 minutes.
“Of course, we need to look to improve that final ball but the desire that you could see on the pitch is one of the biggest things we can gain from it. When the players look around the dressing room at each other and they know every single one of them have put a real shift in for their teammates, that’s a real good thing to have. We can certainly use that as we go through this season.
“I’ve talked after the game that this can’t be a whimper after a big performance. We’ll need our crowd to be right behind us - which I know they will be at kick-off - like they were the other night. There’s no doubt there’s a good connection and we’re really feeding off that. Hopefully they can be proud of the team come five o’clock on Saturday.
“We need to feel that in the stadium on Saturday and the players need to really play with that intensity early on in the game to really take the game to Barnsley. It’s a big game for us because they’re obviously in the last place in the play-offs. We know what’s at stake in terms of our season so the next game for us is the biggest one.”
The Addicks take on a Barnsley side who currently sit sixth in Sky Bet League One, but with games in hand on each of the five sides above them.
“Barnsley will pose a big challenge. They play that 3-5-2 system and they’ve played that consistently. Michael [Duff] is a guy that I know really well personally. He’s gone in there and he’s done a really good job up to now. He’s got the team playing a nice, attractive style of play. They’ve got some threats up top as well - I say that every week, don’t I, because which team doesn’t?
“The players will be well aware of where their threats are but, again. the focus is on us and our performance. We need to make sure that’s right and that won’t change.”
(Transcription by James Target)