Jackson: "I’m relishing the challenge"

Johnnie Jackson says he is relishing the challenge that awaits his Charlton side on Sunday afternoon, when Premier League outfit Norwich City visit The Valley in the Emirates FA Cup third round.

It will be the first time the Addicks have hosted a top-flight side in a competitive fixture in 15 years and, as such, the manager is hoping for a bumper crowd in SE7. 

”I took the first and second rounds really seriously to give us this opportunity in round three, so of course I’m going to approach it with the same mindset, the same attitude,” explained Jackson. “We’ll be taking it very seriously and hoping to try and cause an upset to get into the fourth round as well. 

“I hope we get a good crowd,” he added. “Obviously with Premier League opposition coming down it’s a chance for the fans to see something that they don’t normally see. A chance to see their team up against someone that they don’t normally see - obviously being the underdogs. That’s not always the case in games at The Valley this season. 

“I really hope that people come out. I’m sure it will be a good game. We’ll be giving it our all. Norwich will be a really tough test and I’m sure they’ll bring a lot of support down as well.”

The boss is savouring the prospect of pitting his wits against Premier League opposition, with two divisions and 37 places separating the Addicks and the Canaries.

“They’re having their struggles domestically in the league, struggling for wins and points there but the Premier League is a tough league,” he said. “It’s not easy to get wins there and they’ll be eyeing this game up as an opportunity to win a game of football. 

“I’m sure Dean Smith will be taking it very seriously. He’s got a big squad, he’s got some good players there. I know they’ve been affected by Covid as well, like we were. They’ve had a few games off recently so it will be interesting to see who is available, who isn’t available for them. Of that we have no idea, so we’ll be preparing for the best Norwich that can turn up, really. 

“Whoever they bring along, there is going to be a lot of quality,” acknowledged Jackson. “There is going to be Premier League quality that’s going to obviously cause us some challenges. I’m relishing the challenge.

“They’ve got a great head coach in Dean, someone I’ve got a huge amount of respect for,” he continued. “With what he’s done in the game, he’s someone that you can learn a lot from. 

“I’m looking forward to going up against someone of that quality and I’m sure the lads are looking forward to going up against a team of that quality. I always believe that my team, when we’re at it, can cause any team problems.” 

Jackson indicated Sunday’s fixture will fall too soon for top scorer Jayden Stockley, though revealed an otherwise clean bill of health following Tuesday’s Papa John’s Trophy triumph.

“Jayden hasn’t trained yet with that hip niggle so the game might come a little too soon for him,” he admitted. “But apart from that we’ve got a clean bill of health, really. Everyone’s out there training, everyone came through Tuesday night with no issues.”

Tickets for Sunday's FA Cup clash against Premier League-side Norwich City are available now priced £15 adults, £5 U21s and over 65s and £1 U11s and can be purchased by clicking here.

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