Charlton AthleticSport

Charlton Athletic midfielder: I’ve missed too much football – it’s been really frustrating

Conor McGrandles is hoping that his late leveller at Portsmouth on Saturday means his rotten luck at Charlton Athletic is finally over.

The 28-year-old Scot has made just two League One starts since joining from Lincoln City in July 2022 and spent the second half of the previous campaign on loan at Cambridge United.

McGrandles has had a number of niggling or freak injuries which have also been a factor in not featuring at first-team level.

But he came on at Fratton Park at the weekend and his late header beat Will Norris to ensure that Charlton left the South Coast with a 2-2 draw.

Next up is Wednesday night’s FA Cup replay at Cray Valley PM. And McGrandles would relish featuring in the first round tie.

He told the South London Press: “Absolutely I want to play. I want to play every game. I’ve missed too much football over the last year-and-a-half here. Every game I’m available I would love to play.

“The kind of player I am, I’m all-action so I will put myself in positions to get the knocks I do. I wouldn’t change anything because a lot it has been impact stuff – just unlucky.

Picture: Kyle Andrews

“It’s been really frustrating. The loan I went on last season was really good for me because it made me get that self-belief back, knowing I can play well in this league.

“I just know if I get the chance I can do well here. It’s about getting the chances and proving it.

“Of course (he wants to stay a Charlton player). Who wouldn’t want to play with the players here and at this club? I know this goal has not just made everything rosey. I need to work hard because there are some really good players, especially in the midfield positions.”

McGrandles was pushed forward by centre-back Michael Hector at the end of the Portsmouth match but seemed shy to receive accolades from the travelling support.

His celebration was also low key for his first goal in a Charlton shirt. The last time he netted was in a 1-1 draw for Lincoln in October 2021.

“I don’t know if it was just because I haven’t scored enough goals and I don’t know what to do,” said McGrandles, when asked about his team-mates encouraging him to enjoy his moment.

“I counted it – there were five people pushing me in. I need to work on my celebration next time.

“It felt really good – it was a relief. I didn’t want to celebrate and go too mad because there was still a bit of time left because I thought something else might happen. It was really good watching it (the goal) back.

Charlton Athletic v Cray Valley PM Emirates FA Cup 1st Round, The Valley, 05 November 2023
Picture : Keith Gillard

“It was a really good result. We came into it really thinking we could win it and trying to win it but they are a good team – they’re top of the league for a reason and unbeaten. The position we were in, going behind twice, you take the point and the positives from it.”

McGrandles also played under Charlton head coach Michael Appleton at Lincoln.

“I wasn’t just pleased for Michael (getting the Charlton job) because he knows me,” said McGrandles. “I was pleased for the team and the club because I know how good he is and how he can improve players. I knew it would be a good appointment.

“I loved playing under him at Lincoln.

“Luckily I managed to get my chance on Sunday, get a few minutes, and he brought me on again today.”


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