Billy Clarke on his potential new role in the Charlton team

Billy Clarke was deployed in an unfamiliar deep-lying midfield role when he made his long-awaited return from injury in Charlton’s draw against Mansfield Town on Sunday.

The Irishman has missed the last 11 months with an ACL knee injury and, four minutes after his introduction at the weekend, the Addicks forced their equaliser when Toby Stevenson found the net from close range.

The leveller secured an Emirates FA Cup first-round replay, which will be played at The Valley next Tuesday, and fit-again Clarke says that he’d be open to playing in a similar position again as he bids to improve his match sharpness.

“The manager wanted me to go in there, sit and break things up a little bit,” said Charlton’s number 10. “I don’t know if he’s looking to use me there with little Josh [Cullen] out of the team.

“I’ve been playing long enough, I’ve got enough appearances to call myself experienced; where to be and how to do this and that. I think I could do it as good as I could do anywhere else.”

If he is selected to play at the base of midfield, Clarke would be replacing West Ham United loanee Cullen, who is set to miss the next couple of months with a shoulder injury.

Clarke said: “Josh will be a huge loss, I’ve played with him for the last three years going back to when I was at Bradford and everyone knows how well he did.

“It’s a big loss but someone’s loss is another person’s gain. Whether it’s me or someone else, they’ll have to capitalise on it and take over that role.”

Tickets for Charlton's Checkatrade Trophy match against Swansea City U21 on Tuesday, November 13th are on sale and can be purchased online by clicking here.

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