Holden: 'We have to respond'


Dean Holden has called for a collective response to last weekend’s disappointment when the Addicks travel to MK Dons on Tuesday night.

Charlton head to Stadium MK on the back of a heavy defeat at the hands of an in-form Ipswich Town team last time out.

“We have to re-focus really quickly,” said the gaffer. “My job as a manager is to reset the focus and bring the energy.

“There was a lot of anger after the game and a lot of frustration, both from within the dressing room and obviously from the supporters. We have to make sure that we turn up tomorrow night and we show a response. That’s the challenge I’ve set to the players - we have to respond in the next game.

“There’s a big demand to play for this football club and rightly so. It’s important that we all show exactly what it means to play for the shirt tomorrow night because we didn’t do that on Saturday and it was unacceptable.”

Ryan Inniss will miss Tuesday’s trip to Buckinghamshire having been sent off at Portman Road, though Sean Clare could potentially feature having returned to training.

“It’s going to be a three-game ban for Ryan,” confirmed Holden. “They’ve added an extra two games due to the accumulation of the previous red cards. Ryan will be unavailable now until the Cheltenham game.

“Sean Clare has trained this morning so we’ll see how he is throughout the morning tomorrow and see if he’s available to play,” he added.

Asked about the fitness of the rest of his squad, the manager said: “Everybody else looks okay. Obviously it’s a quick turnaround from the game at Portman Road. We’re overloaded in terms of full-backs at the moment, but a little bit short in terms of centre-backs.

“We’ve got young Zach Mitchell in there and Terell Thomas is a natural centre-back anyway, so we’ll be fine for tomorrow.”

Holden was full of praise for Mark Jackson, who has guided MK Dons out of the drop zone since his arrival in late December.

“Mark’s a fantastic young coach,” he said. “He’s got his first opportunity in management and they’re playing a similar style to what they were prior to the old manager leaving - they’re a really expansive team.

"For a number of years now they’ve been a possession-based team who want to get the ball out from the back. They play a back-three system so it gives us different challenges. They’ve certainly got some good players; they’ve got good young players in that midfield area and Mo Eisa up front who I’ve worked with previously so we know where their threats are.

“It’s about going back to basics for us. It’s about making sure we outrun, outfight and outplay the opposition and keep the back door shut because we always look like we’ll score goals.”

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