Charlton Athletic midfielder sets appearance target – and explains why signing new deal was easy decision

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Jake Forster-Caskey has set himself an appearance-based target for the 2020-21 campaign – admitting the last one was “frustrating”.

The 26-year-old midfielder sat out the 0-0 draw with Sunderland due to a tight groin. But he is already on six appearances in all competitions – halfway to his entire total for the previous season.

Forster-Caskey was a star performer for the Addicks four years ago when they lost out in the League One play-offs – scoring five times and collecting 10 assists in 41 outings.

But he ruptured his cruciate knee ligament in August 2018 – effectively wiping him out of the following campaign.

Forster-Caskey featured 11 times in Charlton’s last Championship season.

“With a big injury like that you need to condition your body again,” he said. “When you miss a whole season, your body changes. It takes time to come back. But now I want to give my all for the club and get it back to where it deserves to be.

“In between not being selected and picking up injuries it was frustrating. Every time I got close I was picking up an injury which put me back down the pecking order.

“This season I feel as healthy as ever and I just want to play football.

“I’ve missed a lot of football, which is hard to take.

“I’ve done everything to get my body back into the best shape it possibly can be – the weights, which you don’t take so seriously when you’re younger – food, diet; just all-round professionalism. Little things like rest and recovery. As you get older you need a lot more of that. When you’re 17 or 18 you can almost just bounce through games, no problem.

“I don’t want to keep looking back. I want to look forward to this season.

“I have [targets] but one of them is literally just to reach a certain amount of games, which is personal to me. I want to be fit and available for selection as many times as I can. That’s not only to help me, but to help the team as well.”

Forster-Caskey was one of the first members of Lee Bowyer’s squad to extend his stay following relegation.

“Charlton have stuck by me when I had a serious injury and I wanted to stick by the club as well,” said the former Brighton and England U21 international. “I wanted to get it signed as soon as possible, just to show my intentions to the club too.

“Charlton are one of the biggest clubs in League One. They’ll always be looking for promotion from that division, so it was an easy decision for me.”

PHOTO: PAUL EDWARDS


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