Jackson: "The players have set the standard now"

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Johnnie Jackson lauded the performance of his players as the Addicks earned a 1-0 triumph against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

Jayden Stockley met Jonathan Leko’s centre to notch the decisive goal after 66 minutes, ending the Black Cats’ 100 percent league record on Wearside.

“It was a bit of a rollercoaster, especially when they put five minutes on at the end,” Jackson told CharltonTV. “I was trying to keep cool, but I certainly didn’t feel it inside. What a day… what a great day.

“We had a day really yesterday [to work on the grass],” revealed the Caretaker Manager. “Thursday was obviously a bit crazy, so we worked as long as we possibly could yesterday. Obviously I’ve changed the shape so I just needed to keep it really simple. Some clear messages about what I wanted, how I wanted to press and what I expected in and out of possession without sort of trying to bog them down with too much information in one day because there wasn’t a lot of time. 

“What I did stress is you have to run, you have to work and that effort has to be there,” he added. “That’s the bare, bare minimum that, if I’m going to be in charge of picking the team, I’m going to require from you. I made no bones about that and then obviously the message got through because what they gave out on the pitch was definitely what I asked for.

“I said to the boys before that we haven’t come here to sit in and nick a point,” the 39-year-old continued. “We’ve come here to win the game and I fully believed that we could. Despite what the table shows with Sunderland being where they are and us being where we are, I had every belief that if we got it right and they did what I asked that we would have enough to get a result.”

Jackson was thrilled to register just a third clean sheet of the campaign, providing the stable platform from which his Addicks side were able to attack from.

“Positive results and positive runs of results are built on clean sheets,” he explained. “We know we’ve been shipping too many goals. Not even ones, we’ve been conceding twos and threes and it gives you a big, big mountain to overcome just to try and get points in games if you’re going to concede that. You have to start with a clean sheet. 

“I’m always confident that we’ll create chances and I think we had a number today. I certainly think we had more than them. To come here against a team that creates a lot and scores a lot of goals and are in good form and keep a clean sheet is credit to the boys. They’ve been great.

“I said [to the players], ‘make it impossible for me to leave you out… make it impossible for me to leave you out by what you do on the pitch and how you train every day now’,” he revealed. “Those boys out there today have made it very difficult for me to leave them out next week.

“You need a statement win and a statement performance. I think the confidence that they can take from this… if you can come here and win you can definitely put runs together and you can win games of football. They need to enjoy it; we’ve needed this winning feeling. We’ve missed it. 

“Obviously the mood in the changing room there is fantastic, but I said to them, ‘look, we need more of it’. Because if it’s a one off then it’s not good enough and we still find ourselves in not a great position in the league. We have to kick on now. For me, the players have set the standard now and they’ve shown me what they are capable of. Now anything less than that won’t be accepted.”

Next up for the Addicks is an SE7 showdown against Doncaster Rovers next weekend, with Jackson now set to implement more of his playing philosophies at the club’s Sparrows Lane training ground in the coming week.

“There’s loads of work to be done,” he said. “We’ve had one day, but it’s certainly a formation that I like - I like two strikers on the pitch. But there’s still lots to do. It wasn’t a perfect performance. It was a good away performance but there’s still things that we can do differently. I tried to keep the messages simple like I said and without overloading them, but in time we’ll build that up. 

“Obviously the lads that weren’t here and the lads that were on the bench will come into the team at a time and they have to know the roles as well. So, I think it’s good that we’ve got a clear week on the training pitch now. We can get some good sessions in, we can get some real good work in hopefully going into that Donny game with an even clearer picture of what I want.”

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