Nigel Adkins is relishing the challenge of guiding his Charlton side to a play-off place, a challenge beginning with a trip to Doncaster Rovers on Good Friday.
The Adkins' era began with a 2-2 draw against AFC Wimbledon at Plough Lane prior to the international break, allowing the manager vital time to familiarise himself with his players at Sparrows Lane alongside owner Thomas Sandgaard.
“From my point of view, it’s a fresh start,” said the 56-year-old. “We’ve been at the football club now for 13 days, we’ve had several training sessions on the grass with the players, in the meeting rooms, trying to build.
“I think we’ve utilised our time well in this very short space of time to do that. Likewise, you’re always going to get measured on results but for me, we’re just trying to work on the performance to try and keep improving that. We are one club so it’s how we all come together and keep moving forward together.
"There’s so much to play for between now and the end of the season. There’s a lot of players out of contract. I want to make sure that we are one club with a pathway for the youngsters to come through, and a pathway for the coaches to come through. It’s been really beneficial having the owner here for a week to build that relationship and understand how we can operate and work together.”
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Five of the Addicks’ remaining nine games come against teams currently ahead in the Sky Bet League One table, something Adkins admits he views in a positive light, presenting his side with an opportunity to narrow the gap.
“It’s really exciting that the games we’ve got coming up are virtually all against teams who are probably above us in the league so what a great opportunity to test ourselves and see if we can take points off them and give ourselves points to catch them. There’s so much to play for between now and the end of the season. There’s a lot of players out of contract.
“For me, it’s a fresh start. This is where we are, nine games to go. What have we got to lose? We’ve got to find a way to get ourselves in that sixth position. There’s an opportunity there for us, however, I’m aware other teams have got games to go and play, so there’ll be a disparity in that as we go along. How can we get the best out of all of us pulling in the same direction to try and affect the next game, and keep the season alive for the play-offs.”
Article by James Waller