Charlton AthleticSport

Chris Gunter gives verdict on Charlton Athletic’s start to the League One campaign

Chris Gunter reckons Charlton Athletic have made an acceptable start to the League One season – and feels they are “close” to stringing together another winning run.

The experienced right-back scored his first goal for the club in the 2-2 draw with Plymouth Argyle on Boxing Day.

The result moved Lee Bowyer’s side into sixth place in the table, nudging ahead of Ipswich Town on goal difference.

The Addicks are undefeated in four matches but three of those have been draws. They won six on the bounce between October and the start of November.

Gunter has spelled out that his side will need to earn promotion back to the second tier. He said: “There is no respect for Charlton, in terms of clubs who come here and we’re probably a bigger club than others. No-one really cares.

“Anything is possible – we could finish mid-table or we could finish top of the league. It depends on us. That’s not being negative and saying mid-table and it’s not being silly and saying top of the table. We’re good enough to go on a real good run and finish high in the table, which is what everyone wants and expects. But you don’t just get that by saying it. You have to go out and earn it.

“We’re close, but not close enough. You can have a couple of these where you draw at home, play quite well and should win.

“Overall it’s been an okay half of the season. And if you’re saying it is okay being inside the top six then it’s not the worst position to be in.

“It’s in our hands ultimately. If we can put a run together, like we did before, then we’ll do what everyone wants us to do.

“We need to stay in and around the top end of the table. We feel like we’re close to clicking and hopefully going on a run like we did a couple of months ago. We’re probably playing better than we were when we went six or seven on the bounce. The only difference is we’re not keeping clean sheets at the moment. If we can address that then we feel in possession we’re a better team.

“Having to come from behind twice is not ideal. There are no easy games. We were the ones in the second half pushing to get the winning goal.

“There were a couple of minor tweaks [at half-time]. The main thing was taking a little more care with the ball when we were attacking – they were the only times that we were putting ourselves under pressure, when we were on the attack. We allowed them to counter and break. We took care of the ball a little better in the second half.

“It was a little but different than the other week, when we came back to beat Wimbledon.”

Gunter netted for the first time since January 2018 – converting from close range after an Addicks corner was forced goalwards by Chuks Aneke.

“It was all a bit strange,” said the former Reading and Nottingham Forest man. “No-one celebrated with me. I don’t know if they thought it was a foul or offside. Or probably more in shock that even from two yards I managed to find the back of the net.

“It’s not why I’m on the pitch and I don’t normally go forwards for corners”



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