BY LOUIS MENDEZ
Charlton forward Conor Washington says that Nigel Adkins’ sacking may have been the shock to the system that the squad needed.
Adkins was shown the exit door after he had guided Charlton to just two wins in 13 at the start of the League One season – leaving the side mired in the relegation zone.
The Addicks have won two out of two since Johnnie Jackson has taken caretaker charge and Washington admitted that Adkins’ departure had been a wake-up call for him and his team-mates.
“Maybe just the realisation of the situation we were in,” said the Northern Ireland international when asked what had caused the reaction that saw Charlton claim wins over Sunderland and Doncaster.
“With the previous gaffer leaving, maybe it was the kick up the backside that we probably all needed as a group. We got him in that situation, as well as other factors obviously. We’re the only ones in there that can change it whether a new gaffer came in or not. We’re the ones who go out there on that pitch.
“We’ve taken into account what Jacko’s been saying and we’ve managed to put in some good performances out there. The fans were brilliant today, got right behind us, and it can be a real fortress here at this level. Teams like Doncaster and other smaller teams, if you will, come here – it’s a tough place to come when the fans are like that.
“The standards we all know [Jackson] had as a player and what he demands in training every day as a manger. He demands intensity, he really wants the intensity high. Because we’ve got more than enough quality in that dressing room, it’s scary. So, if you bring that intensity first and earn that right to play, we’ve got more than enough quality to go and win games of football.”
Washington bagged Charlton’s second of the game and his second of the league campaign when he doubled the lead from the penalty spot during the first-half of Saturday’s 4-0 mauling of Doncaster.
The striker is hoping to add more goals to his tally now that he’s reverted to playing as part of a front two under Jackson.
“I don’t think it’s a secret that I’ve not scored enough goals this season,” he admitted.
“You can put that down to playing out of position, I guess, but I’ve got to take my responsibility for that myself. Getting in good positions, which is always a positive, but just got to be more ruthless and clinical as a team but also on a personal level as well.”
Charlton were touted as promotion hopefuls before the season kicked off but now sit 12 points shy of the top six nearly a third of the way through the campaign.
But Washington insists there is still a belief they can play their way back into the race.
“There’s more than a little bit of belief,” he said. “The dressing room is fantastic and rammed full of quality. I think we’d be doing ourselves a disservice if we didn’t get in there. It’s a mammoth task. I’m not sure what the stats were but I know [last season] Blackpool were pretty low down relatively early in the season. We went and beat them and they might have been even in the bottom three then. There’s no reason why we can’t. We’ve got games coming up where we need to keep putting points on the board to close that gap.”
PHOTOS: KYLE ANDREWS
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