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‘Massive’ – Charlton goalkeeper Harry Isted on a first clean sheet in 22 League One outings

Charlton goalkeeper Harry Isted has described their first clean sheet in 22 League One Games as “massive.”

The South Londoners finally ended their four-month wait for a league shutout as they kept table toppers Portsmouth at bay in a goalless draw at The Valley.

Pompey hit the crossbar through Paddy Lane in the first-half and Isted had to make a hat-trick of saves before 20 minutes had been played but the South Londoners soon got a grip of their high-flying visitors and restricted their chances throughout the rest of the game.

“It’s massive,” said Isted on the clean sheet.

“We go out every matchday and we want to get a clean sheet. It’s been a long time so it’s a nice feeling to get that clean sheet. We’ve got a good bunch of lads and we go into every game thinking positive thoughts. We don’t think we’re going to concede loads here or anything like that.

“When you don’t get a clean sheet for that long it is tough and it is probably mentally tough. But we’ve got the clean sheet now and it’s something to build on.

“Not a fun game to watch, maybe. There was a lot of directness. Both teams had a similar gameplan of that direct route and play off the seconds. We had more chances than them in the second-half. I didn’t really make a save in the second-half – I had three saves in the first-half. Both teams were very similar.”

The Chichester-born stopper has started all four games under new boss Nathan Jones – who Isted also worked with at their previous club Luton Town.

Isted added: “I worked with the gaffer for many years when I was at Luton. I didn’t play loads of games at Luton but I played a good couple under him. It’s nice for a manager to have faith in you and trust you.

“He drives standards, and he won’t let it slip. He won’t take anything other than the top standard. He keeps people on their toes, and I think it’s what the lads needed.

“There’s more of a structure to the team. There’s a style of play that hopefully everyone can see. We’re more resilient defending, putting our bodies on the line. Defending the cage as it’s called. You can see in our performances that we’ve been working on that and it’s coming out in the games.”

Despite taking an impressive point off the league leaders, the Addicks remain deep in relegation trouble following 16 games without victory. They sit one point above the bottom four.

But Isted says that the draws salvaged against both Pompey and third-placed Bolton Wanderers in the last two is something to take into Tuesday’s clash at fellow promotion-hopefuls Derby County.

“We’re in the position we’re in,” he explained.

“We’ve had a tough run of fixtures, but we’ve got good results. It’s more building that platform going into fixtures where we definitely see we can pick up three points.

“We’ve been playing arguably the two best teams in the league and we’ve got two points out of it. It’s something we can build on and move onto Derby on Tuesday.”


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