Charlton AthleticSport

Conor Washington backing Charlton striker Jayden Stockley for a hefty goal return next season

Conor Washington is backing his former Charlton Athletic strike partner Jayden Stockley to rattle in the goals again next season.

The duo scored 31 goals between them for the Addicks  in the 2021-22 campaign.

Northern Ireland international Washington, who was released by the South Londoners last month, netted all 11 of his in the league.

Stockley struck 20 times in all competitions but also missed three months due to a back problem which gave him drop foot.

Washington told the South London Press: “What he put himself through, coming back from the injury, has probably gone unnoticed. He probably admits himself he looked a bit rusty for a couple of games but if you know what his body went through then you’d understand that.

“He looked back to his best, especially towards the end of last season, and every time he played he seemed to score.

“He was a great foil for me and I really enjoyed playing with him. I don’t see why he can’t go and get 20-25 league goals if he keeps himself fit and the system suits him.”

Charlton’s 13th-placed finish last season was their lowest since the 1973-74 season.

Washington reckons any player at the club has to deal with an air of expectation that the Addicks will be in the promotion picture.

Charlton Athletic v Cambridge United SkyBet League One, The Valley, 11 December 2021   Picture: Keith Gillard

“I’ve been lucky to play for clubs with big fanbases and I’ve always relished that pressure,” he said. “Maybe earlier in my career it was harder to deal with.

“But playing in front of 2,000 or 3,000 fans who aren’t really too bothered about what you’re doing and where you’re going would be harder to get motivated for.

“As soon as you walk out at The Valley and you see and hear the fans, you want to put on a show for them and you want to win. For a club like Charlton in League One, you kind of expect that expectation. If you can’t handle that or don’t want to handle that then you shouldn’t be signing for a club of that stature.”

Washington has signed a two-year contract with Rotherham United, who took the second automatic promotion spot in League One last season.

“The gaffer [Paul Warne] has got a great reputation for being an incredible man-manager and he has proven that over and over again with the amount of promotions he has had,” said Washington.

“It just seems a great club to be a part of. Everyone is pulling in the same direction, as they have been for five or six years now. It’s about getting a good core of players and adding around it.

“It’s about being pragmatic in your approach as well. It’s like with Jacko [Johnnie Jackson], those were the tools he had at his disposal [at Charlton]. He had me and Jayden up front, what was the best way to get goals and results out of us two?

“They [Rotherham] have been brilliant with that over the years and it’s something I’m looking forward to being a part of.

“Most teams at this level are brilliant in terms of technical ability, a lot of these guys are on silly money. So what can we do that they aren’t doing? How can we get better in other areas and make sure everything else is bang on, so we get results against these teams?”

See tomorrow’s South London Press for an exclusive interview with Conor Washington.

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