Johnnie Jackson has challenged his Charlton Athletic players to use their EFL Trophy exit as extra motivation to improve their League One position.
The Addicks look hugely unlikely to be in the play-off chase with their immediate target being to open up more of a gap between them and the bottom four.
Charlton lost on penalties at Hartlepool in the EFL Trophy quarter-final on Tuesday night.
“I said that to the lads after the game that we have to use the disappointment [at going out of the EFL Trophy] as fuel for the remainder of the league campaign,” Jackson told the South London Press. “It is all we have got to focus on now.”
Next up for the Addicks is a trip to Portsmouth on Monday night.
Danny Cowley’s team are five points ahead of their opponents and also have a match in hand.
“There are still a lot of games to go and points to play for,” said Jackson. “We have to try and reel in some of the teams above us – Portsmouth are one of them.
“It is a great test for us on TV – a big game and a big crowd. We will take a lot there and it’s a chance for us to lay a little marker down for the rest of the season.
“They have a very partisan crowd who get behind them. We need to try and keep their team quiet and that will keep the crowd quiet. We need to start the game well and try and get on the front foot to take that advantage away from them.
“It’s important we finish the season strong and see where it takes us. I’m not happy with where we are in the league – it’s improved since I came in, position-wise and points total, but I want to build on that.
“We need to get as high as we can so that if we don’t quite make it we still finish the season strongly and there is some positivity around the place. Then we can then attack the following season with everything we’ve got.”
PICTURE: KYLE ANDREWS
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