BY LOUIS MENDEZ
Charlton midfielder Darren Pratley says that the Addicks boast the Championship’s best goalkeeper.
Stopper Dillon Phillips kept his second clean-sheet since the return to action on Saturday as the Addicks ran out 1-0 winners over QPR.
The 25-year-old had to be alert to deny Rs striker Jordan Hugill from close-range shortly after the interval and preserve his side’s second 1-0 win in as many games.
“QPR are going to have chances, they’re a good team,” explained Pratley, the scorer of Saturday’s winning goal.
“They’ve got good players who can hurt you – Eze and a few of the others are quick and can hurt you. Luckily, we’ve probably got in my opinion the best goalkeeper in the Championship. He had nothing all game and then he makes a save like that. Credit to Dillon for keeping focused and keeping the ball out of the net and get us the points.
“Delighted to get the three points,” added Pratley, whose goal on Saturday took his tally for the campaign up to two.
“Another clean sheet for the boys. Dills made a brilliant save again at the end. It’s another three points in the bank that can get us out of this relegation battle.
“I thought we defended well. We changed our shape a little bit, played a 4-4-2. The two boys up front have been brilliant for us. The subs coming on as well made a massive difference. Everyone is fit at the moment, everyone is hungry wanting to play the games.
“Everyone has come back with the bit between their teeth. It was another dogged performance where we managed to win with a set-piece but, to be honest, I’m not really bothered about how well we played. There’s no point playing well if you don’t get the points. I think the main thing is the points.
Both of Charlton’s winning goals since their return to action have come from set-pieces – and Pratley said the Addicks have been working hard on highlighting weaknesses in opposition defences to target.
The veteran midfielder’s 12th-minute header from Josh Cullen’s corner was enough to see off QPR at The Valley as the Addicks bagged their second win in as many games since the restart of play following the coronavirus-enforced break.
Jason Pearce’s winner at Hull the week before had also come from a corner and Pratley says the side know how important set-pieces will be in the run-in.
He said “We worked on it all week. We know in a lot of the games, set-pieces have been the ones where the goals have won the games. We knew that was a big factor for us to go and get the points. We looked at QPR this week and worked out how they defend. You’ve got to get the delivery right and the runs right and we managed to do that.
“It was a good ball by Cullen and I managed to get on the end of it. If I didn’t get on the end of it maybe Tom Lockyer would have. Fair play to Johnnie Jackson and Andy Marshall who do the set-pieces, we’ve got two clean-sheets and two goals from it.”
PHOTOS: KYLE ANDREWS
Please support your local paper by making a donation
Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.