Holden: 'We need to respond'


Dean Holden wants to see a response from his side when Accrington Stanley visit The Valley on Saturday (3pm KO GMT).

The Addicks suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of second-placed Plymouth Argyle last time out.

“We need to be bang at it,” said Holden. "I’ve worked with John [Coleman] previously as a player and I know what he’s all about in terms of what he demands from his team. It’ll be a tough game for us but we’ll be ready.

“It’s a game against a tough Accrington team who have had a difficult game over at Ipswich in midweek. We aren’t even thinking about the Morecambe game and beyond that, this is all about Accrington.

“We know exactly what they’re about. They’ll have forward runners and have some aggression in there with a lot of players that will want to run in behind. Big [Aaron] Pressley up front is a good target for them in terms of playing up the pitch.

“I believe in this group of players in terms of getting a performance out of them. We need to respond from the run we’ve been on and get back to winning ways. It’s certainly a game we can win as long as we’re at the top level of our performance.”

Mandela Egbo is set to play for Danny Senda’s U21s again next week having completed 60 minutes during last Friday’s draw at Ipswich Town.

“He was on limited minutes in terms of how long he played,” explained the boss. “He got through that and we ticked that box in terms of his rehabilitation.

“Obviously he’s been out for a period of time now and we have to be mindful of that. He’ll play the next game next Thursday away at QPR and we’ll watch him in that one.

“He’s getting closer. He’s not ready to come back in but he’s gaining that sharpness. Every day he’s training with the first team so that’s going to be a positive when he’s back fully fit.”

Saturday’s game is the men’s first-team’s maiden Her Game Too themed matchday and Tash Everitt and Lorraine Dean, members of the club’s Her Game Too working group, visited Sparrows Lane on Thursday.

“As a football club we do great work,” said Holden. “Tash and Lorraine both spoke brilliantly today. They’ve both experienced terrible abuse going to football matches and that’s not acceptable.

“For them to step up, amongst the other guys that support their campaign, is a really powerful thing as they could easily go quiet. I’ve said it before but it’s really powerful for us to see them using this campaign to help other people.

“We need to understand the stories and why they’ve come to support the club. It’s great to have them here and have a bit of a chat. The players were really respectful of it and hopefully we can get a result to make their day even better on Saturday.”

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