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Charlton defender late down the tunnel and missed out on grabbing shirts from Manchester United’s biggest names

Charlton defender Lucas Ness has revealed he missed out on swapping shirts with some of Manchester United’s box-office players after the EFL Cup quarter-final tie last week.

The 20-year-old centre-back started for the Addicks at Old Trafford.

Ness ended up with the shirt of unused United sub Zidane Iqbal.

“I was late into the tunnel after the game – because I was talking to a mate,” he told the South London Press. “I spoke to their kitman and asked: ‘Who can I get?’ I wanted Martinez, Maguire – the defenders – and they were all taken. I said: ‘Just get me anyone’.

“I was happy to get that one. I’ve still got his one to show for the occasion.

“It was a surreal experience [playing at Old Trafford], something that you dream of as a kid. I don’t know what the attendance was but whether it was 60,000, for example, it was such a strange feeling. It was amazing to be part of.”

Ness, recalled from a loan at Torquay United due to injuries to the backline, played the full 90 minutes in Manchester and then did the same again in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Barnsley.

“It’s been tough physically – we’ve had an awful lot of games,” said Ness. “This week is our first free week, without a midweek game, under the new gaffer. It gives us a chance to re-energise and also do a few tactical bits that the gaffer may not have had a chance to do in the time we had.

“We dug deep and it was a fight at times [against Barnsley], we rode our luck at other times as well, but we got there in the end. It was a tough effort. We knew they were going to be good, their position in the league tells us that. Thankfully we got the two goals and kept the clean sheet, which I’ve been told is the first in the league since October.

“I’m just trying to play as many games as I can. I’m still young and I’m still learning. Hopefully I can keep playing and learn as much as possible. I’ve been really enjoying it. I feel like I’ve picked up a good bit of form. There have been some big games – Brighton and then Manchester United was huge. It’s all new to me in this sort of setting.”

PICTURE: KEITH GILLARD

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