Addicks ace Gilbey: Playing without fans watching was horrible

By Toby Porter

Charlton midfielder Alex Gilbey has said he hated playing without fans in the stands last season – and he hopes it never happens again.

The 26-year-old utility ace, currently recovering from Covid-19, has talked about the challenges of lockdown and injury last season in a revealing interview with the Mental Well-Balling Podcast.

He said of playing in front of empty stands in the last campaign: “It was ‘let’s go to work’. But looking at it afterwards, I absolutely hated it. If I make a tackle or score a goal, I feed off the fans.

“You don’t realise how having no fans there’s no life in it. Please, God, we don’t ever do that again – it was horrible.

“With the fans back, it is healing. We would not have conceded late, like against Crewe, last season.

“That goal meant we didn’t get into the play-offs. We missed opportunities because we did not have the backing of the 12th man – because it was lifeless.”

Gilbey also said the caring attitude of all staff at every level of The Valley helps nurture recovery and enables new players to settle. “It is only a matter of time because of that for Charlton,” he added.

Gilbey also revealed an achilles tendon injury last winter affected his play for months and then had a knock-on effect on his confidence.



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