George Jones reports
Karl Robinson faces a central-defensive headache ahead of Saturday’s match against Scunthorpe United at The Valley, with four defenders unavailable to him.
Jorge Teixeira is suspended after being sent off after the full-time whistle against MiIlwall last weekend, while Harry Lennon, Jason Pearce and Patrick Bauer are all sidelined with injury.
And speaking to the media at his pre-match press conference, the boss said that he is expecting Graham Alexander’s promotion-chasing team to provide his side with a very tough test.
“Graham has done an amazing this job,” he said. “To have done what they have done so far this season is outstanding. They have been the pace setters for a large part of the season.
“It’s a long season, it’s hard to stay up there for the duration and we all have dips. That’s not to say that they’re going to have one.
“You have to applaud them for their quality and since I came here I think we have only played one game against a club below us in the table. We have played all the top-half teams so our fixtures have been very difficult, no more so than on Saturday and the following weekend away at Bolton.
“It’s a real test and to go into the game with no Lennon, no Teixeira, no Pearce and no Bauer makes it tougher. I’ve never known to have four centre halves out.
“The positive is that Lee Novak will be back in the squad. Ricky Holmes will be a week fitter and so will Tony Watt.”
Watt made his return to Charlton action last weekend, replacing the injured Josh Magennis early on, and Robinson says that he enjoying working with the Scot.
He said: “Last Saturday I must have called Tony four times to ask if he was ready to go on. He said ‘gaffer, I couldn’t hear you’ and I said ‘don’t be stupid’ and then he said that the fans were singing his name too loud!
“He’s just a strange lad but I like that about him. He’s different but very talented and he cares. Since he’s come in, he’s made me laugh and cry in the same minute. He’s a very unique character.
“I think why all Charlton fans love people like Josh Magennis is that they see the application and desire that he tries to put into the badge. Fans endear themselves to that type, and the players need to realise that if you show a real honesty to your badge for 90 minutes then that is all I and the supporters can ask for.
“The likes of Tony are certainly that type. If I had a criticism of him, it would be that he doesn’t score enough goals because he drifts. He wants to get involved a bit deeper, run at people and he needs to learn to stay in the middle of the goal.
“If he does, and hones his talent in on that area, then he’ll certainly be a top, top goalscorer. He’s one of the best players in the league on his day.”
The Addicks will be without Magennis at the weekend, following the ankle injury that he sustained last weekend.
Robinson said: “Josh has been for a number of scans. There was a bit of interference on his first x-ray because he has a plate in his ankle from a previous injury.
“He went for an ultrasound scan the next day and we don’t think it is as bad as we first feared. We’re looking at a minimum of four weeks but it could be six or seven – it all depends on how quickly the swelling goes down.
“Right now, we’re still unclear but once we do settle it down we’ll be in a much better position to move forward with Josh.”
TEAM NEWS | Addicks suffering centre-half headache but Novak set to return
George Jones reports