PRE MATCH | Robinson’s Addicks aiming to topple champions elect

George Jones reports

Karl Robinson can’t see anyone catching Sheffield United at the top of the League One table but says that his side will go to Bramall Lane intent on recording three points on Saturday.

Charlton, unbeaten in their last three, have not lost to any of the top five so far this season and that is a record the Manager wants to maintain.

“I can’t see them being caught,” he said. “Not at all. Chris [Wilder] has done an amazing job there.

“They’re a hungry, young team that are supported by some older players – they added in January and have built up ahead of steam.

“It’s something that I’m jealous of because it is where we want to be. Saturday has got to be our mental picture and what we go into next season with. That’s where we want to be and to do what Sheffield United are doing now is our aim.”

He continued: “Only Millwall in the top eight have beaten us and that is why it is important for us to get a good result on Saturday. It will be nice to go into the summer and say these are the teams in the top five and we have more than competed against all of them.

“We know that it will be one of the hardest games of the season but we have got to make sure that we are ready for it and are ready for the fight.”

The Addicks put in an impressive second-half performance against Bradford City in midweek. That was their 10th match in just over a month and Robinson says that his players will need to be ready for Saturday’s game.

He said: “The players have got no choice! This is part and parcel of football. I think we have played more games than any other team in League One in the last few weeks and it has been a very difficult time for everyone involved, especially with the number of injuries we’ve had.

“It’s one last push and we have got a break after this. The MK Dons game will probably be off with the international call-ups, so we’ll have a two-week window where we can recover and rest.

“It gives me time to test these players and do some testing for the summer, which you very rarely get to do during the season. Our forward planning isn’t only about who we bring in, it is also about what we already have here. After that, we’ll have another big push through the rest of March and April.”

Planning for the summer is something that the Manager has on his mind, though our remaining eight fixtures are of more importance to him.

He said: “We’ve been doing that [preparing] for the last month in some ways by trying to meet people and getting one or two things sorted out.

“It’s a case of ‘where are we going to go’ and ‘how are we going to move forward next season?’ but there is also the matter of having games to play in the middle of that.

“They are just as important because the immediate objective for us is to win games. We want to turn the corner and start turning all of our draws into wins.”

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