Jackson: "A real battling performance"

Johnnie Jackson lauded his players after the Addicks earned a hard-fought point against Sunderland at The Valley.

“It was a real battling performance built on hard work and spirit,” Jackson told CharltonTV. “There was some good defending and being resolute, which was obviously what we needed today on the back of a really tough run of fixtures and results. 

“Coming up against a team that scores a lot of goals, I said the bedrock had to try and be a clean sheet and we’ve got that. Unfortunately we haven’t managed to add one at the other end, but I’m really pleased for the lads for their efforts because they really dug deep today.

“There have been questions asked this week of all of us,” added the boss. “Myself as a manager and my staff - from the players to us and from us to the players. We’ve had some real good, honest conversations. I said that there’s two months left of the season and let’s not look back with any regrets. 

“Today is a real good start to that period. We looked each other in the eye and said that we all need to do more and step up when given that opportunity. It comes from hard work and heart, and they showed that in abundance today.”

Jackson reserved particular praise for Craig MacGillivray, who made a string of saves in SE7 to earn a first clean sheet in eight league outings.

“I thought Craig was excellent,” said Jackson. “The back-three did great but when they get through that you need your goalkeeper to come and help you out. We did a lot of work in the week accepting that they would get chances, but could we limit those opportunities by showing them into certain areas that gives your goalkeeper more opportunity to make saves. 

“I’m pleased for Craig because obviously we’ve conceded a few goals and I know goalkeepers take that pretty tough, so he deserved that clean sheet.”

Looking ahead to next weekend’s trip to Accringon Stanley, Jackson commented: “I’m glad that we’ve got another clear week to focus and get some good work done on the training pitch. That showed today and we’ll be doing that again. 

“It’s another tough test coming up against Accrington and we’ll need that resoluteness, that spirit, that hard work and that determination to defend your box. We’ll need to obviously bring a little bit more going forward to go up there and get a result, which I’m sure we can.”

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