TEAM NEWS | Trio in contention for Peterborough United trip

George Jones reports

Karl Robinson confirmed at his pre-match conference that two of Jason Pearce, Josh Magennis and Chris Solly could return to his squad for Saturday’s match at Peterborough United.

The Addicks have been without Pearce since a groin injury sidelined him at the beginning of December, while Magennis and Solly have been absent in the last few weeks through hamstring and calf injuries respectively.

And, speaking to the media ahead of the weekend trip to the ABAX Stadium, the manager said that he was very hopeful of being able to welcome two of them back into his traveling party.

“Two of them will be in the squad but whether that is to start, I’m not going to tell you!” he said. “We’ll see when the teamsheets are exchanged on Saturday afternoon.

“We’ve still got eight players out at the moment, four of which are on the long-term list, three of which are on the amber list and one is ready to return.

“Shortly, I’m going to have senior players that I don’t need to take in the matchday 18, and I’ve not had that since I walked in the building.”

He continued: “Every game between now and the end of the season is an opportunity for all of my players to prove to me that they want to be here next season. We all have to prove ourselves every day.

“One or two games doesn’t make you a good player, consistently doing it makes you one. The mentality of the players has to be where one or two games isn’t enough – you have to strive for consistency in your performances.”

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Robinson was asked about the club’s planned tribute to PC Keith Palmer, with Tuesday’s match against MK Dons at The Valley being dedicated to the memory of the lifelong supporter. 

He said: “It's never going to be enough, whatever we do, because a life has been lost and you can't bring back a life.

"We want to help the family in what is a hugely difficult time. We are a united group. This event has certainly shaken us and rocked the nation.

"When someone tragically loses their life protecting us, and the public, we have to care and support the people who are left behind.

"What we are doing is a small price to pay. Money and what you can do with it is not relevant. The greatest gift we are all given is life.

"The players and the club have made a great gesture. But it's only a gesture. Because no amount of money is ever going to bring back a life. It's about us doing the best we possibly can and to show we care."

The boss was also asked about his plans for pre-season. He confirmed that he will be taking his squad to Ireland and also that Chief Scout Steve Head had left the club.

He said: “The players have been told that they will be in on four occasions during the off season.

“There will be checkpoints where they’ll have to prove that they’re on course for the start of pre-season. I don’t want us to start pre-season from the bottom.

“I want the players to come back thin, fresh, fit and ready to go – I want us to be two weeks ahead of everyone else before we head to Ireland.”

He added: “Steve is very talented at what he does and the people he brought with him were equally as talented.

“I have a way - that’s not to say his way wasn’t right – everybody has their way of doing things and we have made the decision.

“I’m sure Steve will have a number of jobs waiting for him. I want to do things my way and I have to be bold enough to make these decisions.”

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