Charlton Athletic

Charlton winger Tariqe Fosu: I’ll always have something I need to prove

When Tariqe Fosu arrived at Charlton in the summer he had a point to prove.

The 22-year-old winger made just one senior appearance for Reading.

But so far it looks like the Royals’ loss is very much the Addicks’ gain.

The Wandsworth-raised attacker has scored eight goals in 18 appearances for Charlton.

Charlton viewed Fosu as an exciting development project when he was bought in the summer from Reading for a nominal fee.

But when Mark Marshall suffered a knee injury in a pre-season friendly at Stevenage in July it opened the door for the South Londoner to stake an early claim to a first-team shirt. And he certainly took it.

Fosu has started every League One match this season and notched his first hat-trick in a 3-1 win at Fleetwood Town in September.

He said: “I had a point to prove when I joined Charlton – but I’ll always have a point to prove as long as I’m playing football.

“That comes from the passion and drive within me, not just because Reading didn’t play me.

“There was pressure when I got my chance. It’s a new club, new fans and a new setting, so there is always going to be pressure. But you use that as motivation, turning that into drive. I’ve settled in really well.

“I’m pretty happy with my contribution. We’ve done really well as a team.”

Fosu is in no doubts about his own highlight. “I’d say the hat-trick against Fleetwood,” he said. “The match ball is in my house on the shelf at the moment. I need to get a little frame for it.

“All the lads have signed it, so it is quite special.”

Fosu credits his loan spell at Colchester United last season – where he scored six goals in 34 games in League Two – as a factor in him hitting the ground running at Charlton.

“It definitely helped me a lot because I had only been used to playing for Reading’s under-21s,” he said. “I’d been on loans before but it was a bit on and off. Sometimes I played and sometimes I didn’t. A full season of football at Colchester helped me mature as a player and person. It gave me more confidence. Also my relationship with God helps me. It gives me faith when things aren’t going right – all glory to God. It gives me guidance.”

Karl Robinson has already spoken about his desire to pack his Charlton side with off-the-cuff talent – the likes of Ricky Holmes, Ben Reeves, Mark Marshall and Fosu all falling into that category.

“It is important to have a manager who understands how you play,” said Fosu. “He is a manager who motivates me and gets the best out of me. He gives me freedom.

“The manager wants me to be positive when I get the ball and when you make a mistake he doesn’t really say too much. That free role helps the forward players like myself and Ricky.

“Tactically he is good. We set up differently for each game.

“We have managed to win in a number of ways. We have had to fight for it in a fair few to get a result.

“It’s important we are challenging at this stage. We are working towards a promotion, which would be a dream.”

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