George Jones reports
Karl Robinson hopes that Charlton can end 2016 by securing back-to-back victories when they visit Southend United on New Year’s Eve (1pm).
The Addicks picked up an important three points at MK Dons on Boxing Day and Saturday’s encounter presents them with their final match before the turn of the year and the opening of the January transfer window.
The Manager has made no secret of his wish to add to his injury-ravaged squad and, speaking ahead of the game, he discussed a number of important topics, including his trip to Belgium earlier this week, team news and what he expects at Roots Hall.
Southend – an impressive side
“We know an awful lot about them and how they want to play. They’ve brought in Zavon Hines, another winger, who will be difficult to play against. We think that Nile Ranger could be back and when you have got the likes of Simon Cox and Marc Fortuné, who are top players at this level, then you know you’re going to be in for a difficult game.
“Anthony Wordsworth breaks forward from midfield and once he gets onto his left he can be outstanding. They have some really good players from back to front.
“Since Anton Ferdinand went in there, he has brought that back four together and given them some more solidarity. They have got a number of clean sheets since he’s been playing, which shows you how good he is at this level. Right the way through, they are strong.
“When you go to their ground, there is always an intensity to every game and over the Christmas period that can be added to as well.
“Hopefully we can finish this year off, which hasn’t been a great one, with a win and take it into 2017. If we can’t, we need to make sure that we start 2017 with a really positive frame of mind. I like the new year. It allows you to set new guidelines and targets and also allows you to try and right the wrongs of the year before. That’s got to be our objective moving forward.”
Jackson unlikely to feature
“Jacko’s knock is a hamstring thing. When you look at the energy that he puts into every game, he is a top, top player and to have him missing will be a big blow to us. Nicky Ajose isn’t going to train today [Thursday] either.
“There’s still no Lee Novak, no Declan Rudd, Chris Solly is training but won’t be available, Jason Pearce is obviously out and so is Ricky Holmes.
“I could almost pick a team from the players that are injured – it’s horrendous but these situations arise to test us. One thing that will happen when you bring back the players that are injured and you boost the squad in January, is that there could be seven, eight changes to the team that people are seeing at the minute.
“It’s down to the players in the team now to make sure it’s not them that is replaced. That’s the competition that you need and hopefully we can start bringing in more competition.”
How was Tuesday's trip to Belgium?
"We went through the games. The President has his theory on things, so he gave us his opinions on different situations; he knew that certain performances haven’t been great and he knew the Millwall performance wasn’t good enough.
“We then moved onto the players that we want to bring in. I was very clear on the type of players that I’d like to sign and we’ll have to see where that goes now.
“He knows my ideas and then we stayed and watched STVV’s game against Liege. Cristian Ceballos scored, so it was nice to see him play, and it was a good trip.
“We know what we can do in January and now we need to move forward. I kept repeating that I want to make this club successful and that is the objective of all of ours.
“I want to make this club great again and you can only do that by winning games, getting promoted, competing at the next level and then pushing towards the Premier League. That’s got to be the aim.”
MK Dons: a good start but work still to be done
“A win brings that little bit of hope and optimism, obviously, but we can’t get carried away. I don’t think our performance was particularly great. We were better in the second half but we won’t be successful if we keep playing that way.
“We have to dominate games for longer periods and we have to create more opportunities on goal. I don’t like winning 1-0. I want to score a lot of goals and it is important that we start changing that mentality.
“The players have been excellent, when you don’t get the perfect technical performance it is important that you tactically don’t make any mistakes. That was the case and now hopefully we can build on it.”