Oshilaja enjoying learning new midfield role

Deji Oshilaja has applauded the efforts of the injury-ravaged Charlton team after Saturday’s defeat to Sheffield Wednesday at The Valley.

Despite the eventual 3-1 scoreline, the Addicks battled resiliently and remained competitive until the closing stages as 14 senior players missed out through illness and injury.

“I thought the boys did well. I thought everyone dug in well. I think 3-1 was a bit of a flattering scoreline for them, but they took their chances and we didn’t. I thought we could have had a penalty, but obviously, we didn’t get it. It’s one of those ones where we move on and look forward to the next one.”

A defender by trade, Oshilaja has found himself forced into a new role this season, playing centre-midfield at times to cover for injuries and suspensions. 

Speaking about his adjustment, the 26-year old said; “I’m enjoying it. I’m constantly learning and I’ve got an experienced player in Prats [Darren Pratley] next to me and he’s constantly talking to me and the gaffer has continued talking to me. To put me in there shows that he’s got great trust in me and I think I’ve done well in there. I’ll continue to work hard wherever he puts me. 

“We’ve got a good squad and obviously, the boys that have been playing have done very well. The gaffer changes it quite a lot and whenever someone comes in, they do well. So we’ve got to continue working and whoever does play will give 100%.”

Significant change could be on the horizon in SE7 after last week’s announcement that East Street Investments has agreed a deal to purchase the club, but Oshilaja has refused to get drawn into the noise, with his side focusing their efforts on the pitch instead.

“Us as players, we just concentrate on the football side of things. The gaffer has spoken to us and said that we need to just concentrate on the football side. We’ll do our thing on the pitch and hopefully get some more results, and if that [the new ownership] does happen it will be great news for the fans as it’s clearly something that’s been in the pipeline for a while. We’ll just continue to do our thing and when it does happen, I’m sure it will be a great thing.

“As professionals, we can’t really focus on that. Our job is to play football and we need to concentrate on what we can affect and that’s playing football and training hard. That’s all we can do for now and if it does go through, then we’ll react accordingly.” Oshilaja explained.

Oshilaja and the Addicks squad are not panicking over the downturn in results.

Reflecting on the injury crisis, the London native said; “Never, never (have I experienced such a crisis). It’s actually crazy. But we’re just plugging away and continuing to work. That’s all we can do really.

“As a squad, I don’t think we’re worried. Obviously, the squad is down to bare bones and the results have not been good enough, but I think we have been in every game. We’re going through a bad patch, everyone does at some point in the season, but we’ll continue to work to get out of it and finish strong.”

With no midweek action on the docket, Lee Bowyer’s men have until Saturday to rest up and prepare for another important Championship clash away to Middlesborough.

Article by Benjy Nurick

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