Charlton AthleticSport

Charlton boss Ben Garner responds to report claiming he is ‘under pressure’

Ben Garner says he does not pay any attention to media coverage on himself  – with one national newspaper journalist earlier this week claiming that the Charlton manager is under pressure.

The Addicks appointed the former Crystal Palace coach in the summer on a three-year contract after agreeing compensation with Swindon Town.

Garner has steered Charlton into the last 16 of the EFL Cup and they are also still in the FA Cup, with a second round replay at Stockport on Wednesday.

But the Addicks are mid-table and are winless in their last four games in League One.

Asked by the South London Press if Charlton owner Thomas Sandgaard had given any indications of the job Garner is doing in SE7, he replied: “We had a review probably five or six weeks ago now and he was happy at that stage. He was happier earlier in the season. From my perspective, I just focus on the job to make sure I’m doing it the best that I can. I am doing that.

“We’ve had a lot of difficult moments in the season, in terms of injuries and setbacks. We’re developing a lot of young players and producing assets, if you like.

“We’ve changed the style of play dramatically. With largely the same group of players we have gone from being ranked 13th or 14th in the league for a lot of the attacking and possession stats to the top three for a lot of them – in the top two for most of them. We’ve had a clear identity change and we’re developing players.

“We want to get more results and we should be. But I certainly don’t feel under pressure. Not just me, but the staff here, we do a really good job. Given what we have faced this season, we want to do better and we always want more – to over-achieve – to hits as many heights as we can. That will continue to be the focus.

“I never read anything outside of the football club or listen to anything outside of the football club because it is just a waste of energy. I’m not being rude to your profession but, for me, that is a waste of my energy and time.

“It’s very much the focus on doing the best we can every single day and I see the undercurrent, if you like, really progressing. I’m looking at the younger players that we’ve got with us, and underneath us, and how much they are improving. I’m looking at what is coming in the future, the culture we’re creating and trying to build. All these things look really promising for the future and we need to do well in the short term to allow us to really benefit from that down the line.”

Sandgaard flew into the UK at the start of the week.

Asked if Garner will not try to cement plans for the January transfer window, he told the South London Press: “That will be the plan, to try and have a good conversation about it. I spoke to him very briefly this afternoon at the training ground about me getting my thoughts and ideas across to him. Then we will progress from there. We’re talking about it and we’re looking forwards. I want us to come out of that window in a much stronger position than we’re going into it.

“That will be the focus. Whatever the budget is and we can and can’t do, my job and the recruitment staff’s job is to do our best within the parameters that we’ve got to make sure our squad is stronger at the end of the window.”


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