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Charlie Kirk’s striking display rewarded Charlton boss Ben Garner’s call to play him as a striker

Charlton Athletic manager Ben Garner’s decision to play Charlie Kirk in a central striking role paid off in tonight’s 3-0 win over Portsmouth.

The Addicks saw their forward options reduced after Miles Leaburn sustained ankle ligament damage in last week’s 4-2 victory against Exeter at The Valley.

Chuks Aneke is only just back available after a calf problem ruled him out since pre-season.

Garner opted to play Kirk, normally a winger, up top alongside Jayden Stockley. And Kirk provided the pass for Corey Blackett-Taylor’s goal which made it 2-0 before half-time.

Asked about switching the former Crewe wideman, the Charlton boss said: “We looked at their shape and thought there were areas we could hurt them with the ball. I have to give massive credit to Charlie tonight, because he has never played there before.

Charlton Athletic v Portsmouth SkyBet League One, The Valley, 17 October 2022
Picture : Keith Gillard

“We did it a few weeks ago in training and I quite liked him there. We did it again this week and he completely bought into it. He presses really well without the ball now, he has really bought into that, and he’s got a nice mix of coming and playing between the lines but also giving us a threat off the shoulder which we need in the team.

“Him and Jayden were excellent as a pair tonight.

“We’ve got to find different ways and different solutions all the time. We’ve got DJ missing and Miles missing. It gives opportunities for other people. Young Jes had great moments again tonight and we had Tyreece Campbell on the bench who I think is a real talent as well. We’ve got other options, as disappointing as we were about losing Miles.”

PICTURE: KEITH GILLARD

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