Jacko looks ahead to Plymouth

Johnnie Jackson says his side are ‘in a good place’ as they prepare for their final game before Christmas with a trip to Plymouth Argyle on Saturday.

Speaking during his weekly press conference at Sparrows Lane, he said: "It’s been a good week of training. We worked on some tactical stuff and had a big day out on the grass today and did a lot of intensive stuff on Tuesday - that’s a typical week for us.

“But, obviously, we’ve been quite mindful of the schedule we're just coming out of, so we’ve had to balance the training that we do with recovery.

"We’re in a good place to go towards another tough game coming at the weekend.”

It has only been four weeks since the Addicks met the Pilgrims in the reverse fixture at The Valley which saw Jackson’s men end Plymouth’s impressive unbeaten run with a 2-0 victory.

That result sparked a downturn in fortunes for Saturday’s opponents with no wins in their last five league outings with four defeats and one draw.

Boss Ryan Lowe has since departed for Preston North End during that time with former assistant Steven Schumacher now taking the reins on a permanent basis, but Jackson expects a tough test from a side who were one of the early pace setters in League One.

“It’s been a bit of a change around since we last played them, but actually personnel wise and what Schuey [Schumacher] has been doing since Lowey [Lowe] left has been pretty similar,” explained Jackson.

“So, we know all about him, we know the threats that they carry. They haven’t become a poor team all of a sudden, they’re just on a little bit of a bad run, which is going to happen to every team over a season, but they’re still a top side.”

Meanwhile, Jackson provided an injury update, confirming that Ryan Inniss is closing in a long-awaited return.

“Ryan will play with the U23s on Monday,” he said.

“He’s has another good week of training, he’ll finish that off tomorrow and then obviously the group will travel to Plymouth, so he’ll stay behind and do a little bit more training over the weekend and then next week we’ll look at getting him some minutes with the U23s and build him up with a couple of games with them, before hopefully being available for selection for the first team.

“Adam Matthews is very close now to returning with the group, as is Corey Blackett -Taylor. I think they will be back with the main group within a few days. Sam Lavelle is obviously a little bit more longer-term but, hopefully, we’ll have him back with the group in the early part of January.”

Finally, Jackson gave his thoughts on the ongoing COVID-19 situation which has seen a number of games postponed this week.

“It’s a little bit of a concern isn’t it,” he said.

“Just in general society it’s ramping up, especially in the London area it seems to be pretty rife. We’ve been quite lucky at the minute that we haven’t been too badly affected, but obviously it’s something that we are putting mitigations in place for now, just to try and do everything best practice to try and minimise the risk to people’s health and, obviously, try and minimise the chance of games getting called off.”

(Transcription by Josh Eden)

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