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Charlton Athletic boss has positive words to say about Portsmouth squad and their summer recruitment

Charlton Athletic manager Ben Garner feels Portsmouth have compiled a “really competitive League One squad”.

The two clubs face each other at The Valley on Monday night.

Pompey have not won in their last three matches but are fourth and still have three fixtures in hand over the teams above them.

Charlton ended an eight-game winless run when they defeated Exeter City 4-2 on Tuesday.

“Our home form has been really good,” said Garner. “We can flip it on its head now and say we’re unbeaten in three and five points from nine. We’ve got a bit of momentum.

“They [Portsmouth] have had a fantastic start and they recruited really well in the summer. They lost Marcus Harness, which they generated a good transfer fee for and re-invested some of that into their squad. They have used the loan market exceptionally well.

“They have got a really competitive League One squad and that has shown at the start of the season. We are aware of what a good side they are and what challenges they will pose us but, as always at home, we’ll be looking to expose them and win the game.”

Garner has also confirmed that Chuks Aneke is fit and raring to go for Charlton’s next test.

The striker played his first competitive minutes of the campaign against the Grecians after being absent with a calf problem.

Garner said: “All good, fantastic to have him back. He scores within two minutes but not just that, his attacking touch for Corey [Blackett-Taylor] for Jack Payne’s goal

“It was absolutely lovely to have three forwards available for one game but unfortunately we’re back down to two.

“The focus now is on keeping him fit and available.”

Miles Leaburn has been ruled out with ankle ligament damage. But Garner says that does not mean that Aneke will be forced to play extra minutes.

He added: “There will be no pressure from my point of view, it will be what is right for Chuks and what is right for the team. We can’t take a short-term view for one or two games, he breaks down and we lose him. We’ll be doing what is right, certainly through to January.”

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