Charlton Athletic defender on Portsmouth return and issues warning to his squad

By Louis Mendez

Jason Pearce says it’s imperative that Charlton don’t let their standards slip in the final three games of their league campaign.


Tuesday evening’s critical 2-0 win at Shrewsbury Town marked a first victory in four and revitalised the South Londoners’ hopes of making the end of season play-offs.


Inconsistency has plagued the Addicks this season but Pearce reckons that they cannot dip below the levels set in Shropshire as they face his former side and fellow top six hopefuls Portsmouth on Saturday.


“We’ve got to keep focused now,” explained the 30-year-old centre-half.


“It’s important that we can’t drop those levels like we have done in the previous couple of games. We’ve got that focus now. Going to Fratton Park, it’s a big one for me going back there, but it’s a massive game for the club and we need to put on a performance.


“We’ve got it in us as players, we’ve just got to do it on a more consistent basis. We’ve shown it now and we’ve got to keep on doing it. It’s standards now. When you win a game, you can’t get too carried away. We’ve got to keep our feet on the floor and do things right in training off the pitch. We go again.


“We’ve done OK against the teams that are above us in the play-offs. We’ve got them to play and Rochdale fighting for their lives. We’ve got three cup finals to try and get ourselves into the play-offs and anything can happen.


“It’s a massive game anyway but I haven’t been back to Fratton Park to play since I left. It’ll be a good occasion for me but it’s not about me. It’s about Charlton and we want to get the three points.”


Pearce, who has won promotion previously from the third-tier level with Wigan Athletic, is happy to be putting his experience to good use as he stands in as Addicks skipper for the injured Chris Solly.


“I’m really enjoying it,” he said.


“Chris Solly is the captain and we miss him out there but at the moment I’m captain and I’m revelling in it. I love it. I just try and to show that experience that I’ve got. We’ve got a lot of young players there so I need to help them out.


Caretaker Addicks boss Lee Bowyer has tried to rotate his squad during the gruelling run-in, but Pearce doesn’t feel that this could cause disharmony in an unsettled back-four.


“Myself and Pat (Bauer) have a good partnership so we want to try and stay together if we can.


“But you’ve got the likes of Harry (Lennon) and Naby (Sarr) to come in and they’re very good players as well. The right and left back have been changed but they’re all very good players. I think he just wants to keep on changing it as there’s been so many games, to keep people fresh.”

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