'He's a brick wall!' - Insight into Charlton Athletic's star man, dangerous front pair and preferred formation ahead of Doncaster Rovers game
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We spoke to Louis Mendez, who covers the Addicks for South London Press, to get the lowdown on Rovers’ next opponents.
Charlton lie 15th in the table. How do you assess their season?
Very disappointing. Expectations were high with new ownership in place at The Valley but the promotion challenge anticipated never materialised.
Recruitment was slow in the summer and the season got off to a dreadful start.
Nigel Adkins was shown the door in October with Johnnie Jackson taking over as caretaker. The Addicks stalwart instigated a superb turnaround that earned him the full-time role – but then injuries hit and Charlton’s form tailed off concerningly.
Two wins out of two at The Valley last week have put any lingering relegation worries to bed but there’s still plenty of room for improvement. A clear out is expected in the summer as Charlton look to go again next year.
What's the current mood of the fans - given everything the club has been through in recent times?
Dejected. Most can’t wait for this season to be over after so much was promised and so little delivered.
It’s true that the club has been through some real turmoil and the on-field disappointment this season pails into insignificance when the future of the club itself was in jeopardy a couple of years back but having now come out the other side under the stewardship of new owner Thomas Sandgaard, fans hoped for much more. Still a lot of work to do.
What type of football has Johnnie Jackson got the Addicks playing?
Jackson has a preferred formation – 3-5-2. It can be quite reliant on the wing-backs both defensively and going forward so if they aren’t at it then Charlton can be quite blunt but also vulnerable to being opened up in the space a full-back would normally occupy.
The Addicks are at their best when they press high, disrupt in midfield and then move up the pitch with pace.
What are Charlton's strengths and weaknesses on the pitch?
They have been susceptible to conceding from set pieces recently although it will be hoped that the return of striker Jayden Stockley will make them stronger in both boxes thanks to his aerial prowess.
And his partnership with Conor Washington is a real handful up top – Charlton haven’t lost when the duo have started under Jackson.
The problem was that they went from early December until two games ago unable to do that due to injuries.
Who are the players to look out for on Saturday?
George Dobson will be named Charlton’s player of the year without doubt, and he is the brick wall the Donny midfield will be trying to bypass in the centre of the park.
He averages more tackles per game (3.4) than anyone else in League One.
And a real threat going forward is the lightning pace Corey Blackett-Taylor. He has the beating of his man more often than not.