Johnnie Jackson’s stock rises ever higher as Charlton beat League One leaders Plymouth Argyle at The Valley. Here’s Louis Mendez’s four takeaways from the game.
GET HIM TIED DOWN
What more does Johnnie Jackson have to do to secure the job? If an outsider had come into the club and had the immediate impact that Jackson has, everyone would be calling Thomas Sandgaard a genius for a remarkable appointment. I understand the Addicks owner may be hesitant to commit to an inexperienced manager but in football you cannot look a gift horse in the mouth. Jackson has galvanised the squad and it’s reached the stage now that bringing anyone else in would be a baffling decision that could derail this momentum building up at The Valley. Some say what if Jackson goes on a losing run – but if you can’t appoint a winning caretaker based on a hypothetical worst-case scenario then you can’t appoint anyone else because the same could happen to them. If the job goes elsewhere, Jackson will almost certainly leave the club and that would not only be a PR disaster but will also let an undeniable talent slip through Charlton’s grasp. A lot has been made about how this club is proud to provide a pathway for young players – it’s time step up and do the same for a young manager.
PILGRIMS 16-GAME UNBEATEN RUN SUNK
That was the complete performance. And all the more impressive that it came against a Pilgrims outfit who have swept all and sundry aside this season. Charlton made them look ordinary – particularly in the first-period. The Addicks were well on top before the break and although Plymouth eased their way back into it after the interval, it always felt like the hosts were the more likely to go on and win it. Elliot Lee was a handful again and his killer pass set up the tireless Washington for the second goal. George Dobson continues to impress in his combative midfield role, whilst Diallang Jaiyesimi had his full-back twisted inside and out. Defensively, Jackson’s side were sound and grabbed a fourth clean sheet in five games – two more than Nigel Adkins had managed in the 13 previously to that.
Three goals in four outings for Ben Purrington. The left wing-back role has given the former Plymouth man licence to move further up the field and he seems to have a knack of getting into the right areas to grab goals. Another player, similar to the likes of George Dobson, who found his playing minutes limited under Nigel Adkins who has been coaxed into reaching top form by Jackson. Purrington didn’t feature in any of the previous manager’s final three games but Jackson has shown trust in him and that faith has been repaid.
SEAN CLARE SLOTTING IN
One of the most pleasing aspects of the last few weeks has been the way players have managed to step in and fulfil roles that aren’t their favoured position. When Elliot Lee was lost to illness early on in the defeat at Lincoln, Nigel Adkins tried to plug the number 10 position with first Charlie Kirk and then Jonathan Leko. Neither seemed to understand what was required of them that day – an indication again of the lack of direction on the training ground under the previous regime. Now, we’re seeing the likes of Clare, who has played as part of the back-three in the last two games, filling in well and fitting the structure. That isn’t a new manager bounce – it’s a well-coached and well-drilled side who understand what is required of them.
PHOTOS: KYLE ANDREWS AND PAUL EDWARDS
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