Miles Leaburn is set to make his return to Charlton’s squad for next Wednesday’s EFL Cup tie against Brighton.
The Addicks striker has been out since October after sustaining ankle ligament damage.
Centre-back Terell Thomas (hamstring) is being pencilled in to be available for the home Boxing Day match against Peterborough United.
“Miles and Terell are the two closest,” said Charlton caretaker manager Anthony Hayes. “Saturday would be too close for Miles. We’ll get a chance over the weekend and the early part of next week to get a few extra training days in ahead of Brighton.
“I definitely think Brighton is achievable for Miles. In the game that he got injured, which was Exeter, that was probably his most efficient display at first-team level. He’s growing into a real man. He’ll be a real boost to our attacking options. The sooner he returns, the better.”
Charlton are winless in their last five League One matches and host Bristol Rovers tomorrow.
Asked about the impact of that run, Hayes said: “Naturally when you don’t win games of football, your confidence can be affected.
“The one thing I have said is that I don’t think we’re a million miles from turning it around. As a collective we are all hurting. We all want to do better. We’re in the position we’re in – we can’t feel sorry for ourselves – but also we can’t play with fear. We have to go into games fully believing we have got a group of players capable of winning football matches, which we are.
“It’s not been a question of whether we can win football matches, it’s can we win football matches consecutively? We have to find a way to win on Saturday and start picking up some points.”
Rovers have lost just one of their last 11 league matches.
“Their last league defeat was against Derby in October,” said Hayes. “They are a very competitive, honest and hard-working side – I’d expect nothing less under Joey Barton. But they’ve also got a good mixture to their game.
“In young [Aaron] Collins they have got one of the best young players in this league. His numbers speak for themselves in terms of creating and scoring goals. He’s somebody we have to be very mindful of.
“But there are some vulnerabilities there as well. We’ve got a lot of threats in attacking positions, so there will be spaces for us to exploit. It’s a case of maximising those opportunities on Saturday.”
PICTURE: KYLE ANDREWS
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