Jones: 'It's a wonderful fanbase here'


Nathan Jones has hailed Charlton's supporters ahead of Saturday's clash against Reading.

Jones will take charge of his first fixture as the club's Manager at the Select Car Leasing Stadium and his side will be backed by almost 3,000 travelling Addicks.

“Without being flippant, you do expect it because they're a great group of fans," said the boss. "It’s not as if suddenly 3,000 fans have turned up - they've turned up in the past plenty of times. It's a wonderful fanbase here, it’s a working class fanbase and I say that with the greatest respect as I'm working class myself.

"I’d like to build them something that they can be really, really proud of. If we win the game, lose the game or draw the game, it wasn’t just built in one week. I'm hoping for a real reaction from the players and a positive one. We're four days into building something effectively.

"It's important that the supporters see certain things that they can relate to and say, ‘I see where we are going' and then we can build it from there."

Jones is thrilled to be back at Charlton following a successful season as U21s Lead Coach in 2012/13.

“It's part and parcel of why I came back - the academy is fantastic here and always has been," he explained. "There's good people at the helm. I think the academy has been one of the real shining lights - it’s one of the best academies.

"I always talk about Paul Hart [former Charlton Academy Director] and the three wonderful projects that he built at Leeds with the likes of  Harry Kewell, Ian Harte and Jonathan Woodgate, at Nottingham Forest with Jermaine Jenas and Michael Dawson and he built one here with Joe Gomez and loads that have gone on. To be fair, I'm probably doing him an injustice there because there are probably 20 academy players playing in the Football League or the Premier League.

"It’s a fantastic conveyor belt here and the connection I had with the club made it an easier decision, because I know what can be achieved here if you can get everything going at the right time and get everyone buying into everything," added the 50-year-old. "That's what we're going to try and do. There's a lot of hard work ahead of us and we know that, but we want to be here for the long haul.

“We'll build processes here with good people," he continued. "[Technical Director] Andy Scott will build a recruitment department and we'll add certain things to the department. We're all involved in it.

"It's a process - no one human being will build something; there is a process here which will encapsulate a lot of people. Everyone has to be aligned. The important thing is the process and the alignment. As long as we've got that - no egos, no anything - I'll get final say.

"If we don’t want to sign a player then we won’t. At no point will the people here force me to do that because that's not how they've been. These are good people and I've come here to work with good people. It's not just a football club, it's good people and that's what I'm excited about as well."

Asked for an update on the team news front, the boss said: "Apart from Miles Leaburn, everyone else is back in training."

The Addicks host Lincoln City on Tuesday, February 13th in what will be Jones' first home match as the club's boss (KO 7.45pm GMT)Click here to purchase your tickets.

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