Charlton AthleticSport

Michael Hector: I’d like to stay at Charlton Athletic beyond this season

Charlton defender Michael Hector wants to stay at The Valley beyond this season.

The 31-year-old’s contract expires at the end of the current campaign. He originally joined the club on a short-term deal midway through last season before agreeing to stay on the following summer.

And the centre-half is eager to stay on in SE7 once more.

“Yes,” he said when asked if he would like to remain at The Valley.

“I’ve said it earlier on this season. I signed here before, with my family being from London, nothing has changed.

“No [he hasn’t discussed it with Nathan Jones yet]. We just want to finish as strong as possible, that’s all I can do. We’ve just got to focus on each game. When that time comes, we’ll speak about it.”

The Jamaican international completed his first 90 minutes since January during Good Friday’s 1-1 draw at Exeter City.

Hector hadn’t started a game under new boss Nathan Jones as he had to remain patient for an opportunity to return to the side following a hamstring complaint. That injury side-lined him for six-and-a-half weeks – returning off the bench against Northampton at the start of March. His original diagnoses predicted a 10-week absence.

“It’s great for me”, he added.

“I want to play every week. I signed here to play. It’s frustrating not to get into the team. The team has been doing well, I understand that. I spoke to the manager, we’ve had chats. It’s all positive. I just want to get out there and play week in, week out.

“That’s part and parcel of football. It’s the first injury I’ve had. It’s frustrating. I just did my rehab. Came back quicker than expected which is a positive. I feel good, I feel strong. My performances will hopefully, until the end of the season, will be good.”

Hector was rotated in and out of the side at the start of the campaign by Dean Holden. Michael Appleton soon made the former Fulham man first choice, but the early part of the season was punctuated by two major errors that led to goals – at home to Port Vale and Blackpool.

Hector knew he had to put those behind him quickly.

He explained: “I’ve been in the game long enough to realise that as a centre-back, if you make a mistake, it’s normally going to be a chance or a goal. Apart from goalkeeper, the centre-back is probably the second-most important if you do make a mistake it’s going to cost the team.

“Dumb things happen. Thankfully it doesn’t happen too often in my career, but it’s happened back-to-back at the start of this season. I’m the biggest critic of my performances so I know the type of player I am and what I can do. It was a bit frustrating at the start of the season and I’ve improved a bit better. There’s still a lot more from me to come.

“I’m not going to try and cover it up, it’s been disappointing [for the side this season]. A month ago, we were in a relegation battle. We’ve pulled away from it not but for a club the size of Charlton we should be pushing for promotion.

“That’s what everyone’s goal was at the start of the season. It’s disappointing but it’s part and parcel of football. The main thing is we take it game by game until the end of the season and try and finish as high as possible.”


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