U18s boss Hamza Serrar is relishing his side's FA Youth Cup third-round tie at Northampton Town as the young Addicks look to continue their rich vein of form live on CharltonTV on Saturday.
Jason Adigun and Mack Reilly both struck in extra-time at Princes Park in the previous round against AFC Wimbledon to book the showdown with the Cobblers at Sixfields on Saturday afternoon (1.30pm GMT).
“We knew it was going to be a tough game because Wimbledon, obviously they normally have good runs in the cup - whether at youth level or even senior level,” Serrar explained.
“The longer it took they were obviously more in the game because we missed chances in the first-half. And then, as you know in football, the more you miss in football the smaller the goal gets; it becomes more difficult.”
Charlton travel to Northamptonshire on the back of what Serrar feels was a humbling 6-4 loss at Colchester United in a Premier League Cup tie which saw captain Karoy Anderson dismissed.
“It was good for me to see how we can cope with 10 players on the pitch for 70 minutes,” admitted Serrar. “It was a good challenge because you can up against that any time, like on Saturday in the FA Youth Cup. It was good practice for us. We found out a lot about the boys and they found a lot about themselves. Luckily, if there was a game for us to lose and go down to 10 men it was this game because we were already through.
“That loss against Colchester has given us our focus back,” he added. “We’ve got our feet back on the ground. We had a meeting about what went wrong in the game, how we can make it better and then we trained which was good. The camaraderie and the atmosphere is really positive and the boys are looking forward to it.”
Serrar is expecting testing opposition in the form of Shane Goddard’s Northampton side, who have defeated King’s Lynn Town and Stockport County to progress to the third round.
“They’re a very good team,” he said. “I’ve watched them twice now, two games. They play well to their system and to their strengths. Obviously it’s going to be played in their stadium, they will have a crowd and, hopefully, we’ll have some of our crowd as well on the way down from Gateshead!
“It’s going to be a great atmosphere in a big stadium and they’re going to be physical, they’ve got big boys. They’re going to put everything out there to beat us. We’re expecting a good challenge that we’re looking forward to.”
Fans can attend the third-round tie at Sixfields with tickets priced at £3 for adults and £1 for concessions, while CharltonTV subscribers will be able to watch every kick of action live from the comfort of their own homes.
Charlton fans can support the academy by signing up to the Valley Gold scheme. Valley Gold enables fans to support the clubs academy in unearthing the talents of tomorrow, as well as giving them the chance to win cash prizes.