Adkins: "The attitude and application of the players has been first class"

Nigel Adkins wants to see more of the same from his side when they take on second-placed Peterborough United on Saturday afternoon at The Valley.

The Addicks equalled the club-record away league win with a 6-0 triumph over Plymouth Argyle at Home Park in midweek, while also extending the unbeaten run to 10 and recording back-to-back shutouts.

Speaking in his press conference, the Charlton manager said: “It was another step forward in the right direction for us. We’re trying to build on the clean sheets. It was a good defensive performance which actually helped to actually go and spring from that and go and score some excellent goals. We scored six, and we could have scored a couple more as well when we look at it. Overall, the attitude and application of the players has been first class. 

“We’ve got momentum with the run of games that we’ve been on. We’re going into the final couple of weeks of the season with a momentum, with a spirit and with everybody working really, really hard for each other. We’ve got that defensive resolve at the moment where we’re keeping clean sheets and the offensive creativity and ruthlessness to score goals.”

For the first time in Adkins’ tenure, he has a full squad to choose from, something the 56-year-old says bodes well going into the business end of the League One season with the swift turnover of fixtures. 

“Ryan Inniss wasn’t injured - I just made a sensible decision on that one. Ryan’s available for selection for the weekend. Conor Washington comes back into the squad as well, he’s obviously trained okay today. Chuks Aneke came off the bench and scored the other day which was good so it’s good that players are all putting themselves forward and they’re all hungry for the games coming up. 

“They’re looking forward to the run of games we’ve got and they all know it’s not going to be just 11 players - the whole squad have got to contribute. I say to the players: ‘Competition drives performances.’ We’ve got good competition for places and hopefully that will drive performance. Because the games are going to be so close, Saturday-Tuesday, Saturday-Tuesday, we’ve got to manage the load of everybody and hopefully we can use the impact off the bench. The other night we used five substitutes and there’s nothing to suggest we won’t do that in the remaining games.”

Adkins was full of praise for Darren Ferguson’s side and is expecting a close-fought contest, not only against Posh but against each of the Addicks’ five remaining opponents.

“The club has been great as well to allow us the preparation and allow us to get the preparation and the recovery right in respect of going into the next game now against Peterborough which everyone understands is going to be a real tough game but one we are looking forward to. They’re in the top two, they’re going to get promoted alongside Hull but we’re in there and we’re in the race for the play-off positions.

“You can’t expect to just turn up and play. You’ve got to earn the right to win, you’ve got to earn the right to go and play. We know the games we’ve got. We’ll highlight the need that there can’t be any complacency and highlight the need and understanding that we’re in the race, and that should breed confidence. They’re going to be tough, tough games but we’re in good form.”

(Article by James Waller)

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