PRE MATCH | Robinson hoping for winning start to busy period

George Jones reports

Karl Robinson hopes that Charlton can begin a busy period of games by recording three points against AFC Wimbledon on Saturday.

The Addicks face five weeks of Saturday-Tuesday fixtures, starting at the weekend, which gives them the chance to close the gap on the top six.

And the boss wants his squad to make the perfect start to that run in West London on Saurday.

“We have the strength of mind to cope with the busy run of games,” Robinson said. “It is what it is and we are all in the same boat. There will be times where I’ll have to say that we are fatigued and tired but I don’t want to have to use that as an excuse.

“We have a real good group of players here and we are looking forward to the challenge. Let’s not moan when we have a lot of games – it’s something to embrace and it will separate the boys from the men.

“Other than at Christmas, there is not a time like this in a season and, depending on how we fare in these next games, we could be right in it or completely out of it.

“The next few weeks will be vital for us in our campaign. I know that the away end is sold out on Saturday and I know that the game is also being beamed back to The Valley, so hopefully we can put in a good performance for everyone.”

The Addicks currently sit six points outside of the top six with a game in hand, and Robinson knows what is required for his side to close the gap.

He said: “It is going to take the right mentality, the right dedication, application and desire for us to get into the play-offs. 

“We are looking forward to playing a number of games and the players have got to take responsibility for them.

“We are a big club and our sports science department, our medical department and my coaching staff will all be tested.

“The travelling and recovery will be difficult but it’s now or never and that is the way it has to be. We need to play at the same intensity and desire in every game between now and the end of the season.” 

The boss also revealed that Josh Magennis is likely to be available for selection at the weekend. The striker has been sidelined with an ankle injury since the middle of January.

He said: “Josh is taking part in full training for the first time today [Thursday] and we’ll see where he is at.

“I’m not sure if he is ready to start yet because he hasn’t had any contact in three and a half weeks, so we’ll have to see how he responds today and tomorrow.”

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