Tom Lockyer: "Any derby is going to be massive and it would be nice to give back to the fans"

Tom Lockyer understands the importance to the fans of Saturday’s derby against Millwall and believes he will be ready, having played in a Bristol derby.

The centre-half represented Bristol Rovers in a derby with Bristol City in 2013 and he is looking forward to this weekend’s game at The Den.

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Speaking at a meeting last week with fan group East Kent Addicks, Lockyer said: “I was fortunate to be involved in a Bristol derby - that was a bit nuts. Speaking to Charlton fans, the game against Millwall sounds like it will be the same. Any derby is going to be massive and it would be nice to give back to the fans.”

The 24-year-old has made a good impression with supporters already after some commanding performances and he revealed that the positive team spirit in the camp helped him settle in quickly.

“The team spirit is good," explained Lockyer.

"Everyone gets on. There aren’t really any cliques in the group. It hasn’t taken me long to settle in, as a new signing you can’t really ask for much more. Within three days I was cracking jokes.”

Lockyer’s stock rose amongst the Charlton fanbase after making an incredible goal-saving tackle on Lewis Grabban in the Addicks' 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest in August. He told the East Kent Addicks: “I just remember making the tackle and Dills [Dillon Phillips] shouting ‘what a tackle!’ It was only after when I saw the clip back and I looked at it back like ‘What?’, you’re in the zone and it just happens. It fell to him and I thought ‘you ain’t scoring here’, even if I gave away a penalty, luckily I got that ball instead.”

The 6ft defender has partnered both Jason Pearce and Naby Sarr in defence this season and explained he likes playing alongside both of them. He said: “They’re both great players. I think Pearcey is more like myself, loves the battle, loves the fight. I think Naby is a bit more stylish, nice on the eye, tidy on the ball, can pick a pass. I love them both.” 

The Wales international has said in numerous interviews how important Lee Bowyer was in him joining the club and he said, from that first meeting, he set a target: “When I met with Lee, he said staying up would be a bigger achievement than getting promoted last season. I’ve never shied away from a battle. 

“Looking at us now, you [the fans in attendance at East Kent Addicks] want more, so do we, we get greedy but, first things first, get 50 points on the board and go from there.”

For now though, Lockyer’s focus is very much on Saturday’s game. 

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