Charlton AthleticSport

‘Hard work starts here’ – Dean Holden turns focus to next season after Charlton finish 10th in League One

Dean Holden says he is already focusing his attention on next season after Charlton rounded off the 2022/23 campaign with a 2-2 draw at Cheltenham Town.

The South Londoners lead twice thanks to a goal from Scott Fraser in the first-half and Jack Payne seven minutes from time.

But the Robins were level through Aidan Keena shortly after the break and then again through Alfie May two minutes from the end of the 90.

The result saw the Addicks finish 10th in the third tier. They will now play a fourth successive season at this level for the first time since they were originally promoted out of it in the 1920s.

Holden said: “We finished 36 points off the top two and 15 off the play-offs. It shows how much work there is to do to get up to them positions next season.

“Ultimately, 2-2 is not what we deserved but it cements 10th place in the league. We would have taken that at Christmas when we came in. Look at MK Dons who were in a similar position at the time and ended up getting relegated.

“We’ve done that without a pre-season with the players and only four months to work with them. Only one transfer window. There’s a lot of work to do. The next couple of weeks is going to be really intense, in terms of driving the recruitment and stuff around the training ground to improve for next season. We need to be higher up the division next season. That’s the aim. Hard work starts now.

“We’ve created some gilt-edged chances throughout the game. We should have been home and dry, easy. We’ve shown our frailties defensively to concede the two goals. It’s a game we should have won. That’s the disappointing thing.”


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