Jackson: "The boys can’t wait to play again at The Valley"

Johnnie Jackson’s Addicks are relishing another #FillTheValley clash this Saturday when Cambridge United visit SE7 after a dominant showing against Ipswich Town in midweek.

The Addicks produced a top-quality performance against a strong Tractor Boys side, creating a relentless amount of chances as the visitors failed to register a shot on target.

“As an all round performance, in and out of possession, I think it was probably the best we have played,” admitted Jackson. “Not dissimilar to the Plymouth game, it just edged it the fact that we limited them to so few chances - zero shots on goal and the fact that we created so much ourselves. 

“I think the intensity was there, we try to be like that in every game. It is tough to be at it like that every game when you have a gruelling schedule - Saturday and Tuesday. I think having The Valley full definitely helps with that as well, because they're roaring you on and it does spur more out of the boys. They always give their all but subconsciously you get that tiny bit more. I was really impressed with the spirit and intensity the lads showed.”

Saturday’s opponents Cambridge are currently level on points with the Addicks, having recorded an emphatic 5-0 triumph at Cheltenham Town in midweek. 

“Hopefully there are goals but only on one side,” said Jackson. “They have got goals in them; they scored five in the week and they are a capable team. We have done our homework on them and we know that they will pose threats. 

“However, my team is in a really good place. I am really pleased with how it’s been going. The boys are buzzing. They can’t wait to play again, especially at the Valley. We will be up for it if we turn up like we did on Tuesday night. Cambridge will be up for it and we have to make sure that we match those levels again.”

A front foot display against Ipswich naturally resulted in fatigue among the squad, though Jackson revealed all of his players came through unscathed while providing a positive update on long-term absentees Ryan Inniss and Jake Forster-Caskey.

“Obviously there are some tired legs among the players, but with the effort they're putting in that's only natural,” he said. “So, we just have to adapt and see how we can freshen it up if we are going to freshen it up, but there are no injury concerns. Everyone came through the game fine.

“Ryan is out on the grass, he is training fully now. We will step him up next week, maybe possibly getting him some minutes in a U23s game. He's been out a long time and we have to manage that one really carefully. 

“Jake [Forster-Caskey] is back outside doing running and moving well, looking good, so hopefully before too long we can have him back. Adam Matthews is close to returning. Sam Lavelle will be a bit longer but he is progressing nicely. It's all coming together.”

As well as being a part of Charlton’s #FillTheValley campaign, this weekend’s fixture against the U's will mark the club’s annual Christmas Spirit Day.

“It will be brilliant to see the Valley full again,” added Jackson. “It’s a great initiative by the Community Trust, especially with what they do in the local area. Their work is second to none, hopefully it will be packed and we can raise a few quid for the Trust again.”

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