Charlton's U23s secured top spot in Premier League Cup Group A with a hard-fought 2-2 draw against Reading U23s on Monday.
Manager Jason Euell praised his side's performance, especially after going down to 10 men in the 15th minute when James Vennings was sent off.
In an interview, first aired at half-time on Valley Pass of Charlton's game against Sheffield Wednesday, Euell commented: “I said to the boys after the game it just showed what they’re actually capable of doing.
“I said 'just think about what we did with 10 men, in terms of what we did out of possession, the times we had the ball, the minimal opportunities we had', I said just think defensively what we could do with 11, we could actually make it a lot easier for ourselves.”
This result means that Charlton secured home advantage against Fulham, who themselves progressed on Tuesday afternoon, in the last 16 of the competition and the manager has full faith in his squad.
Speaking before he knew the Addicks' opponents, Euell said: “We’re not fussed about who we get. We said the objective was to win everything that we’re in; by doing that, we get out the group stage and we’ve done that.
“Whoever we have in the next round, it's another game where I look at the group and think ‘yeah, we can win this'."
The club has a history of having a strong youth academy and continue to set the standards from a young age, something that Euell has some pride in. And he is aiming to finish the league campaign in strong fashion.
“At U18 and U23 level, it's about making sure that we have a competitive squad at both age groups and we want to be vying for those top two spots.
“We say top two, but it is about finishing top. Now we’re looking at Watford at the top, we’re not looking at Millwall in second.
“We’re looking at closing the gap and finishing top to make sure we can the league and give us a chance to play at the nationals.”
Article by Anwar Yassin