Speaking to Valley Pass and the press after Charlton’s 2-1 win over Doncaster Rovers In the first leg of the play-off semi-final, Josh Parker spoke about staying in the squad, his contributions outside of goal-scoring, the Charlton supporters and the upcoming home leg.
Below are some of the talking points…
On retaining a place in the starting XI…
"I’m happy being in the team now, it was frustrating, but you have to just enjoy it because I came into a team that was winning and winning and winning so I just have to enjoy any time that I’m given and make the most of it. Unfortunately Igor [Vetokele] got injured but, for me, it’s my chance to help get the team towards the target.
"I just had to bide my time and train hard and try and keep myself as fit as possible which can be difficult when you’re not playing in the tempo here. Reserve games aren't the same. So for me it was just a matter of staying quiet, looking at what Igor’s been doing, watching his work-rate when he was playing and trying to pick up where he left off."
On contributions outside of goalscoring...
"For me, it’s about the team. And it’s the same for all the boys. The manager said after the game: 'the amount of effort we put in and how hard we worked for each-other is unmatched in the league and that’s why we stand out'. If I don’t score it’s not the biggest factor as long as the team’s winning. These are not league games, these are games that if you win you end up changing your life. So I just want to keep doing my part and working hard.
"I think when we do things like [tracking back] for each-other it allows other players to express themselves. For example, if Joe [Aribo] makes a run that he cant get back from I should recognise that and make sure that I drop in and fill in. That’s what part of being a team is and that’s what makes us play differently from other teams.
"We recognise that and we’ll make sure that we run back and make sure that the team doesn’t concede. It’s easy to stand there and let someone run past you and go ‘that’s not my man’. The team doesn’t revolve around that and the manager wont accept it."
On receiving a standing ovation and the Charlton Fans…
"It was unreal for me because the fans haven't got to see a lot of me and that’s through no fault of my own it’s just because other people have been doing their job very well! For me, it was a very nice reception and one that I’ve been trying to work for for a long time and now I’ve got two two games back-to-back it feels like I'm getting there slowly.
"The home leg is going to be horrible for them, if I’m honest. I'm not going to say it’s going to be nice because their fans even today were getting out-sung by the Charlton fans. So, to go to The Valley and have 20 odd thousand on top of you every time they touch the ball is going to knock their confidence and if they say it wouldn’t then they’re lying because it does play a part."
On the home leg…
"I’m really excited. As we said before, it’s hard to come here, but for them to come to The Valley is a whole different kettle of fish.
'They wont be looking forward to that, they’re behind so they’re going to have to come and chase the game. I think that benefits us because we’re so comfortable on the ball that we’ll probably just end up picking them off.
We’ve seen what happened in the Champions League over the last few days! So two or three nil doesn’t make a difference, but our tasks remain the same. We’ll keep the ball, we’ll work hard and when we do those two things we win games. Simple as that.
They’ll have been hoping that they won here today and then see what happens when they come to The Valley but now the ball’s in our court and we’ve just got to carry on doing what we’re doing.”