Charlton defender Lucas Ness has talked about his recent return to full fitness, as well as his praise for the Addicks' academy, before looking ahead to tonight’s home clash against Bristol Rovers.
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Ness had his campaign cut short last season after a season-ending knee injury in March but is the only Charlton player to have played the full 90 minutes in all three games this season.
“Last season didn’t end how I wanted it to,” Ness told CharltonTV. “Going into pre-season I had to work a little bit harder to get to where a few of the other boys were but now I’m fully fit and raring to go for the rest of the season.”
The 21-year-old has had a busy last 12 months with the Addicks, spending a month’s loan with then-National League side Torquay United before returning for Charlton’s Carabao Cup quarter-final against Manchester United in January 2023.
“It’s been a crazy year, even in November going up to Torquay on loan and then a few months later I was playing at Old Trafford. It’s been a whirlwind of a year, very unexpected and I’m buzzing to be where I am now and thankful to the journey,” he said.
“It’s crazy, being 21 and I feel like one of the senior players because we have such a good academy and pathway into the first team.
“There are so many good young players coming through. I’m enjoying the responsibility and I’m always here to help them.”
The Addicks have swapped from a back three to a back four on a number of occasions this season and Ness is confident with both.
“I’m not too bothered about what we play,” said Ness. “I like the three and it gives me an extra slot to get into the defence, but we know we can we change to a four and do both.
“We all know our roles and the systems well and that’s thanks to the management staff. I don’t mind what we play. There will be times when we switch it up and we have to adapt.”
Looking ahead to Tuesday's clash with Bristol Rovers, Ness is wary of a solid Gas attack.
“They’ll be good, we know about their threats in attack. They have some very experienced League One players who can cause us damage,” said Ness. “But hopefully we can score a couple goals and win the game.”
(Article by Billy Wooldridge)