Johnnie Jackson heaped praise onto his players after the Addicks edged an exhilarating encounter at Burton Albion on Saturday.
Ben Purrington’s first-half header ultimately separated the sides at the Pirelli Stadium, ensuring Charlton return to south London with maximum points and maintain the Caretaker Manager’s unbeaten run in Sky Bet League One.
“It’s a great win, obviously the nature of it - it was a strange game to be 10 men versus 10 men,” Jackson told CharltonTV. “Obviously we got our goal and then that’s a proper away performance for me.
“You have to sit in your shape at times and you have to suck up a little bit of pressure, which is fine - sometimes you can do that, especially when you’re clinging to a lead. I thought we limited them to very few chances, really. I didn’t feel comfortable but it was probably quite comfortable!
“I can’t credit the lads enough,” he continued. “We won in a different way today, we got our goal and I thought we had a real, real good shape about us. They are just running and running and running; I said to DJ [Diallang Jaiyesimi], ‘just give me everything until you blow up’. And the lad holds his hand up with 15 minutes to go and says I’m done; he’s cramping in his calves - and that’s what you need. That wholehearted honesty and then someone else could come on and see the game through. That’s what they are doing now, they are just giving me absolutely everything. That’s all I can ask.”
Jayden Stockley and former Addick Deji Oshilaja were both given their marching orders by Trevor Kettle within the opening 18 minutes, though Jackson felt both players could have been shown a yellow card for their roles in an off-the-ball scuffle.
“I couldn’t really see it brilliantly from where I was and I haven’t seen it back, but I thought he could have booked them both,” admitted the 39-year-old. “Obviously they are having a little wrestle - I don’t think anyone has thrown a punch or anything like that. I think maybe he can just book them both and just get on with the game, play 11 v 11. I don’t think it needed two red cards to be honest.
“Obviously Jayden got sent off first so I’m thinking, ‘we’re up against it now’; I didn’t know that he was then going to send Deji off as well. We sort of had a little look at it for the next five, ten minutes and thought, ‘do we need to tweak the shape?’ I still felt that that shape was how we were going to hurt them. Our right and left centre-halves were getting on the ball a lot and stepping in which is what we worked on, so I was quite happy and comfortable with that.
“Obviously you lose a bit of your aerial threat with Jayden which made it more difficult when we did have to clear our lines. Obviously he’s a big player for us on set pieces in both boxes so when he’s off the pitch it does make you weaker in those situations as well.”
The Caretaker Manager explained he’s revelling in his new role, while also looking ahead to next weekend’s #FillTheValley clash against league leaders Plymouth Argyle in SE7.
“I’m loving it,” beamed Jackson. “It doesn’t feel that way when you’re hanging onto a lead and there’s 10 minutes to go, but I’m really enjoying it. It’s what I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and I’m enjoying the pressure that comes with it and I’m enjoying setting teams up in training… everything about it, I’m loving it.”
“It’s going to be a real treat that game; Plymouth are flying. Their manager, Ryan Lowe, has got them playing some great stuff. He’s someone I know well. We’re in a proper game, they are flying high at the top of the league, they play a similar way and in a similar style to us.
“So, I think it’s going to be a really, really interesting game and obviously to have The Valley full would be amazing because you know what that place can be like when it’s full,” he added. “The fans are really behind the team which gives us that extra push, that extra impetus that we will need on Saturday because we are in a proper game.”
For more information on the club’s #FillTheValley initiative, please click here.