Charlton AthleticSport

Connor Wickham delighted to be back amongst the goals after ‘toughest spell of life and football career’

Charlton Athletic forward Connor Wickham was delighted to put an injury-hit season behind him as he bagged his first goal in over a year during the 1-1 draw at Cambridge.

The former Ipswich Town forward executed perfect chest control and a turn on the edge of the U’s box before drilling into the bottom corner midway through the first-half – but the Addicks were pegged back by Macauley Bonne soon after the interval.

Wickham hadn’t scored since netting for Cardiff City in a 3-1 Championship win at Blackpool in early April last year.

The 31-year-old had been without a club since departing the Cardiff City Stadium last summer before Charlton picked him up on a short-term deal in March.

He played a part in Alfie May’s winning goal against Carlisle on his debut but then was side-lined for another month before returning for a cameo appearance off the bench against Wigan Athletic last Tuesday.

Manager Nathan Jones awarded Wickham his first Charlton start at the Abbey Stadium and was rewarded as the striker got off the mark for his new club.

“I’ve missed it a lot,” admitted Wickham.

“I’ve worked so hard to get back. Missing the first half of the season was the toughest part of my life and my football career. I never gave up. I’ve got myself back on the pitch and scoring. To see the ball go into the back of the net was an incredible feeling. It was a massive relief.

“We’ve been feeling like this too many times this season. We’re not happy with the draw. We can hear them cheering as they come in which tells you where they are and where we are in comparison. It’s another frustrating game for us. We had chances to win the game.

“We have in the last five or six games that we’ve drawn we could have taken points very easily. It’s about being more ruthless, more clinical in that final-third. When we get chances we need to start killing the game early. It’s a disappointing one for us but a positive that we have another game unbeaten. If we want to push on next season and the club wants to get to that next level, we need to come to places like this and take three points.

“I’ve come into the club – they knew my situation; I knew their situation and what they expected from me. I’m just happy to be back fit. We’ve got a very demanding manager which is good for me. Pushes me and never lets me be complacent in any position. That goes for all the players but for me personally it pushes me on. I’m happy to be back playing football and scoring goals. That’s been my job for the past 15 years.”


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