Pratley: "Dogged Addicks have bit between their teeth"

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Match-winner Darren Pratley praised his ‘dogged’ teammates after the Addicks claimed a second consecutive 1-0 victory on Saturday. 

The midfielder headed home the only goal against Queens Park Rangers at The Valley, ensuring it was six points from six for Charlton following the season’s restart and Pratley insists Lee Bowyer’s side’s determination since returning to action has seen them through. 

“Everyone has come back with the bit between their teeth,” he said. 

“It was another dogged performance where we managed to win with a set-piece but, to be honest, I’m not really bothered about how well we played. There’s no point playing well if you don’t get the points.

“It was another clean sheet for the boys. Dills [Dillon Phillips] made a brilliant save again at the end and it’s another three points in the bank that can get us out of this relegation battle.

“I thought we defended well. We changed our shape a little bit, played a 4-4-2. The two boys up front have been brilliant for us. The subs coming on as well made a massive difference. Everyone is fit at the moment, everyone is hungry wanting to play the games.”

The Addicks have kept back-to-back clean sheets and Pratley heaped praise on Dillon Phillips, who contributed with another fine point-blank save to deny Jordan Hugill in the second half, claiming that he is the best goalkeeper in the Championship. 

“QPR are going to have chances, they’re a good team,” explained the 35-year old. 

“They’ve got good players who can hurt you. Luckily, we’ve probably got, in my opinion, the best goalkeeper in the Championship. He had nothing all game and then he makes a save like that. Credit to Dillon for keeping focused and keeping the ball out of the net and getting us the points.”

Meanwhile, Pratley revealed that the winning goal was once again a result of good work on the training pitch. 

After Jason Pearce nodded home the winner against Hull City a week earlier, Charlton benefitted from another set-piece against QPR and the midfielder says it is no coincidence. 

“We worked on it all week,” he explained. 

“We know in a lot of the games, set-pieces have been the ones where the goals have won the games. We knew that was a big factor for us to go and get the points. We looked at QPR this week and worked out how they defend. You’ve got to get the delivery right and the runs right and we managed to do that.”

“It was a good ball by Cullen and I managed to get on the end of it. If I didn’t get on the end of it maybe Tom Lockyer would have. Fair play to Johnnie Jackson and Andy Marshall who do the set-pieces, we’ve got two clean-sheets and two goals from it.”

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