Holden: "We're up for the challenge"


Dean Holden says his side are relishing the challenge of facing an in-form Bolton Wanderers side in front of the Sky Sports cameras at The Valley on Saturday.

The gaffer travelled to Bolton in midweek to watch the Whites’ 1-0 win over Forest Green Rovers in-person.

Dion Charles, who bagged the game’s solitary goal early on, was shown a red card on 28 minutes after Elias Kachunga lashing out at Forest Green defender Brandon Cooper.

Bolton have subsequently been successful in their appeal and the three-match ban for violent conduct has been transferred to Kachunga, meaning top scorer Charles is available for this weekend’s clash at The Valley.

“There was doubt on the evening when I was there; the stadium was dumbfounded and certainly Dion Charles was,” explained Holden. “For whatever reason the linesman called it right but he called it on the wrong player. Kachunga gave him a right dig in the ribs - I’m not sure what that was about. Ian [Evatt] came out after the game and said he was disappointed with that and rightly so.

“Charles got sent off after 30 minutes through no fault of his own and then rested up for the the night so he’ll be fresh for Saturday now. He loves to run as well, he's a really good player. The rest of them played with 10 men for 60 minutes.”

Charlton face a Bolton side who currently sit fifth in Sky Bet League One having suffered just one defeat in their last eight league outings.

“Ian has had them for a few years now and they’ve had some success together including promotion,” said the gaffer. “They’ve got a real distinct style of play - when you think about what Bolton used to be compared to where they are now it’s at the complete opposite end of the spectrum.

“They’re really expansive in the way that they keep the ball and they like to have high ball possession. They have a lot of energy in midfield and, as I say, Dion Charles will run all day for his team.

“It’s a difficult game for us but we proved in our last one against Barnsley that we’re up for the challenge. It’s live on Sky and we want to show ourselves in the best possible light in front of a national audience. We proved at Old Trafford what we can do as a football club.

"We want to show people that are watching on Saturday that there will be a big crowd in at The Valley and we can really rally round together and push for results for this club.”

Click here to purchase your tickets for Saturday's game against Bolton (12.30pm KO GMT).

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