PRE MATCH | Robinson highlights fans importance in fighting mental and physical fatigue

Tom Rubashow reports
Tonight’s league game against Bradford City represents Charlton’s 10th game since February 11th and Manager Karl Robinson has highlighted the importance of the Addicks faithful in helping his players to battle mental and physical fatigue.

The match is the club’s third in SE7 in just eight days and Robinson said: “The fans were excellent against Scunthorpe and Walsall. I think if we had three away games on the spin it would be hard for us to compete but we know we’ve got a very solid, core group of fans who come and support us every week through thick and thin.

"It’s a thankless task at times when things aren’t going quite right for you but we do thank them for their belief and their support always. We’ve got to make sure we put a performance in against Bradford that they are proud of, as we always try to do.”

Bradford currently sit fourth in the league and are the only side in the league to have drawn more games than the Addicks but Robinson is still targeting three points.

He said: “We want to continue putting points on the board and continue posing a threat from our different aspects of play. I’d like to take the first half against Scunthorpe and the second half against Walsall. If you can combine those two, it’s a great performance.”

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Charlton could be without Ezri Konsa, who came off injured in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Walsall but Robinson did say the injury wasn’t as bad as first thought. Joe Aribo is also a doubt for the game after sustaining a groin injury. The game comes too soon for Jason Pearce, who returned to action for the U23s against AFC Wimbledon on Sunday after three months on the sidelines.

Robinson added: “Where we are at the moment, there is a lot of physical and mental fatigue and everyone could sense that on Saturday but it is about the self-belief and self-confidence we have to drive ourselves over the line. You look at our three home fixtures, one team was third, one team was eighth and one team is fourth – they are challenging and demanding games but we’ve got to make sure we perform to the best of our ability as we’ve got a duty of care to our fans that come and support us.”

Robinson praised Bradford manager Stuart McCall. He said: “They are a very strong unit, very disciplined with a lot of talent in the team. They can switch from a diamond to a 4-4-2. They’ve got some players that can hurt you and they’re very difficult to break down as their record proves.

“We’ll do a walk through pitch session, will have two meetings and then we’ll be in today [Tuesday] in the middle of the day for another session on the pitch, maybe a final walk through and one or two other details. They’ll also went in the swimming pool to do an active recovery.

“Bradford didn’t play last Tuesday, so they’ll have one game less than us but it’s not about what’s been before, it’s about what’s ahead of you. You have to eradicate the fatigue from your brain. We have to play to the best of our ability.”

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