Greg Stubley reports
Charlton defender Jason Pearce was delighted to play a vital role in the Addicks’ 2-1 win over Southend United at the weekend, which was his first victory since recovering from injury.
The summer signing from Wigan Athletic suffered a groin issue during the goalless draw at Bradford City back in December and made his return to the starting eleven last week.
And to experience the winning feeling again was something he was certainly was thrilled about.
“We knew it was going to be tough as Southend are in the play-offs on merit and they’re a good team,” said the 29-year-old.
“But every man stood up and gave their all. It was great to come off the pitch as a player and see the fans clapping you off after a good performance and a good victory, so we’re delighted.
“The gaffer made it clear to us that if you have a little set back - like we did with their equaliser - that you keep going and work hard for each other.
“We showed that today with a really gritty performance. As we came off the pitch everyone was so tired but we were delighted to get the three points.”
Up against a tireless Theo Robinson upfront, Pearce was kept busy throughout the encounter at The Valley but he admitted to the media after the game that the thought of a tough contest is something he relishes before each match.
“I loved it. It was exactly the sort of game I like,” said the former Bournemouth and Leeds defender.
“I like to have a battle and make sure I come out on top. It was quite an even battle but we had players around u sso if we made a mistake, or lost a battle, there was always someone covering up behind them.
“It was pleasing looking everyone in the eye after the game because you knew they had worked their socks off.”
The Uxbridge-born centre-half admitted that it was tough to see his side drop down the division's standings - having previously looked set for a potential play-off spot when he got injured in December - but now hopes to help his side progress up the league, starting with Friday’s fixture against Coventry City.
He said: “For four months, it was tough watching. I wanted to be out there playing.
“It’s been a long time and I’m glad that I could come back and help the team get over the line and get three points.
“Hopefully, I’ll be able to help the team for the rest of the season to make sure we stay in the league.”
With Charlton still near the rear-side of the table, Pearce wants his teammates to stay focused ahead of the remaining fixtures of the 2016/17 campaign.
“You look at the fixtures that we’ve got and they’re all against the teams around us,” he said.
“Every game is going to be like a cup final. It’s just one win today, we’re not getting carried away but we’re pleased with the performance and it’s something to build on now.”
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