Adkins: "We’ve got a good energy about ourselves going into the game"

Nigel Adkins says there is a ‘good energy’ about his squad as they prepare for the trip to Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday afternoon.

The Addicks fell to a disappointing 2-1 reverse against Cheltenham Town at The Valley last weekend, though the Charlton manager insists that result is now in the past with all eyes firmly fixed on the imminent trip to Adams Park.

Reflecting on the outcome against the Robins, Adkins said: “We play a lot of games of football and if you’re dwelling on things a lot then confidence levels can drop down. You’ve got to find a way of dealing with it and moving forward, so there were a lot of lessons that we learnt from the game. 

“For example in the first-half in our defensive shape we were far too expansive,” explained the 56-year-old. “We need to be a compact shape to press as a team. We showed some clips to the players in our debrief and we can just see if we’re five yards further up and five yards further in then we’re compact, and we can go and get after the team. 

“It’s something we talk about constantly and obviously we changed the shape - that was beneficial. And then you’ve got to take your chances when they come, but we’ve put that one to bed and we move onto the next game now which I think is really, really important.”

Adkins provided an injury update on his squad as Alex Gilbey and Ben Purrington near returns, though revealed Ryan Inniss and Ronnie Schwartz have joined Jake Forster-Caskey on the sidelines.

“Just to update everybody Ryan Inniss is going to be out for a couple of months at least with a thigh injury,” announced the Addicks boss. “Ronnie Schwartz is going to be out for a couple of months at least with a calf injury. 

“Sam Lavelle is fine, he’s trained alright. Obviously it was his first game, the emotion of everything, obviously you could see he was just struggling towards the end of the game there but he’s trained really well this week.

“Alex [Gilbey] and Ben [Purrington] have been back training; the group has been back in training, Sean Clare as well so I’m really pleased with that. It obviously enhances the size of the squad with the young players as well who have done great for us so far, so we’ve got a bigger group of players that are on the training ground now - all working hard.

“Jake Forster-Caskey - obviously everything is going to plan with his rehabilitation.”

Asked if the likes of Jonathan Leko, Pape Souaré and Harry Arter are in contention for the upcoming two games, Adkins said: “Everybody is in contention. Moving forward we’ve got a large group of players who all want to be involved and all want to play and we’ve got a good energy about ourselves going into this game.”  

Adkins concluded his press conference by paying tribute to the Charlton faithful as his side enter a frantic schedule of games, while praising the job done by his adversary Gareth Ainsworth with the Chairboys. 

“The fans have been great,” he said. “They’re right behind the club, the team. You can see them when we're doing well they’re right behind us - it really lifts everybody. I totally understand when things aren’t going well everyone is entitled to vent their frustration - I totally get it. But when we’re doing well they’re right behind the players and they’ve been really, really good. 

“It’s great that we’re going to have that support to cheer us on as we enter a very tough game against Wycombe and obviously against Gillingham. And then we’ve got Portsmouth after that on Saturday, and then we’ve got Bolton, and then we’ve got Fleetwood, and then we’ve got Southampton… there’s a lot of games we’re going to go and play. 

“They’re going to be tough,” the Charlton manager continued. “Wycombe - Gareth Ainsworth has done a great job. He’s been at Wycombe for a long time and he’s done great. He got them to the Championship last year, they’ve come down. They’re a very tough team to play against. You can listen to maybe what Karl Robinson might have said at the weekend about their performance against them [Oxford United]. It’s going to be a battle, it’s going to be tough. What they do they do very, very well and we’ve got to be prepared for that.”

Read Time: 4 mins