Johnnie Jackson admitted that Jayden Stockley had staked his claim for a League One starting spot after his recent scoring form.
The forward came off the bench to net an excellent winner at Fleetwood Town on Saturday and then struck twice in tonight’s 4-1 EFL Trophy win over Southampton U21s.
Arguably it could have been a hat-trick but Stockley’s late looping header was nodded over the line by Jason Pearce.
Charlton named a strong side with the likes of Diallang Jaiyesimi, Charlie Kirk, George Dobson, Ben Purrington and Sean Clare all getting starts.
Purrington also netted. Manager Nigel Adkins watched from the directors box at The Valley with his number two in charge on the touchline.
Addicks assistant boss Jackson said: “Really enjoyed it. A good opportunity for us with the lads who have not been involved and not getting minutes in the league games, as well as some of the younger lads stepping up and getting involved. It is a bit of a different type of tournament for us this year, with the size of our squad – they are really good games for us.
“With the competition for places it is a chance for people to showcase that they should be starting or involved in the league games.
“DJ has not been involved in the recent games, not even making the bench, so it was a great opportunity for him to come in and prove us wrong – if you like – and he’s had a great 60-65 minutes there. He had a real impact on the game. Another opportunity for Kirky to get some minutes on top of what he got at the weekend, because we need to build him up and get him where we need him.
“Jayden has found himself out of the starting line-up for the last couple of games. He came on at the weekend and scored the winner. He’s backed it up again tonight with two goals. He’s given the manager things to think about, which is what you want from these games.
“We know what Jayden is about. To have that option…Josh Davison is a different type of forward. To have the two to choose from is a good thing. Jayden showcased what he can bring to a team when he’s in it. When he’s on that sort of form, he’s definitely one of the top strikers in the league and he needs to be at that level every single game, as do all the lads if they want to get in the team and push us up the league.”
Asked if Stockley’s effort had crossed the line before Pearce intervened, Jackson produced a broad smile.
He added: “You tell me – you probably had a better view. I said to Jayden at half-time: ‘Go and get your hat-trick’. He’s nearly gone and done it and then his mate has gone and poached it on the line. I don’t know if it was going in. If it was going in he’s not going to be too pleased with the skipper there.”
PICTURES: KEITH GILLARD AND PAUL EDWARDS
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