BY LOUIS MENDEZ
Charlton striker Chuks Aneke has admitted that his fitness issues are his “personal battle.”
The 28-year-old has recently returned from a two-month spell on the side-lines and has been dogged by injury problems at times in his career.
Other than the 2013/14 campaign with Crewe, the forward has never made more than 26 league starts during a single season.
He was utilised mainly as a substitute at The Valley last season – being brought off the bench 27 times and only starting 11 games for the Addicks.
He only made one league start for former Charlton boss Lee Bowyer after joining Birmingham City during the summer and admitted he found it infuriating to pick up a knock so early during his second spell with Charlton after returning in January – having netted twice in his first five games.
Speaking after he scored during Saturday’s win over Shrewsbury, Aneke said: “It’s frustrating. Coming down from Birmingham, I didn’t start a lot of games. When I came, I was straight in.
“I had a bit of rhythm so it’s definitely frustrating. I’ve worked hard off the pitch with Adam Coe and the physical staff. I’ve come back in good shape and picked up where I left off.
“Every player is different. That’s my personal battle that I’ve had throughout my whole career. That’s something that I’ve always got to stay on top of. My personal battle.
“Some players are fit as a fiddle and can play every minute. I’m not one of those players unfortunately. I can do what I can do. I did it today, so I’m delighted.”
The Addicks are hoping to clinch a top-half finish as they travel to Ipswich Town on the final day of the season but Aneke wants the club to push for promotion back to the Championship next year.
“We all know what we can do better,” he admitted.
“We know what the supporters want, we want it for ourselves. We’ve got one game left which we’ll try and win and then we’ll take the time out. We know as players what we want to do. We want to do the best we can for ourselves and our families. Next year we’ll go again and definitely do better.
“I’ve played in the Championship with Charlton and Birmingham. I tried my best but I don’t think I had great seasons there. There’s still a motivation of mine to go to the Championship and prove myself. We’re going to work hard and hopefully achieve that here with Charlton.
“I think me, Conor [Washington] and Jayden [Stockley] have got a lot of experience at this level. We’ve even played in the Championship. There’s a lot of firepower. All three of us are very capable strikers. I think that is definitely a good strike force for League One.
“We’ve got a front three that is capable of scoring goals at this level. We’ve got enough firepower. If we keep everybody fit and firing, then we can do something special.”
PHOTOS: PAUL EDWARDS
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