BY LOUIS MENDEZ
Charlton boss Johnnie Jackson said his first few months in management have been a real learning curve.
The Addicks’ 4-0 defeat at Ipswich brought a disappointing campaign to an embarrassing end, with the South Londoners ending the season 13th in the League One table.
Jackson, who took over when Nigel Adkins was sacked after a start that saw Charlton win just twice in their opening 13 league games, reflected on his first few months in charge following the final whistle at Portman Road.
He said: “I’ve learnt a hell of a lot. I’ve loved it. It’s what I’ve wanted to do. When I took over, we were bottom of the league, staring over the barrel. I have to take some pride in the fact that I turned that around and got us well away from that, further up the table.
“Obviously, we haven’t ended up where we wanted to end up, but we were always chasing it from the start we had and the injury problems that we’ve been dealt as well. There will be lots of lessons learnt.
“Self-reflection, how can I improve? I’ve said that to the players. This season has gone but what lessons can you learn and how can you get better when you come back? What are you going to do then, how will you be better? I’ll be asking the same questions of myself and my staff and my players.
“I think you need to go through the lows to find out about yourself and the people around you. I found out a lot in that time. You had to be tough, and it took resolve. I had to stick to my principles and my guns when there was a lot of noise to do this and do that.
“I’ll do it my way and I will continue to do it my way. I believe in it, and I think when I’ve had the tools at my disposal, I’ve shown that I do know what I’m doing and we can be successful. You need a little bit of help from above over the summer to give you the right types, to give you the tools to do your job.
“I’m confident that I will get that help. We’ve had some good discussions. The proof will be in the pudding. There’s lots of work to do. We need to get busy straight away to get that work done. Pre-season is a massive time for any club, any manager and squad. It’s where you lay your foundations down. Lay your markers down and I didn’t have that opportunity this year. That’s something I’m looking forward to. It’s such a crucial time where you get all your best work done and you lay the groundwork for the season that comes.”
Asked if he will aim to get the majority of his transfer business done before pre-season kicks off, Jackson added: “That’s what you hope, you hope to have the core of your group together by then.”
“It’s not always straightforward. Agents, they’ll be holding out to get the best deals they can. And some will naturally go late, that happens. But as a manager you want your group together.”
PHOTOS: KYLE ANDREWS
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