Johnnie Jackson has made it clear that he wants to land the Charlton Athletic manager’s job on a full-time basis. The Addicks legend was appointed as caretaker boss following the departure of Nigel Adkins this morning.
The Addicks are 22nd in the League One table and a woeful start to the campaign has seen owner Thomas Sandgaard act.
The US-Dane told the South London Press this morning that Jackson, who captained Charlton to the League One title and was a huge fans’ favourite, will be given time to stake a claim to the position.
“I’ve had a real brief conversation with Mr Sandgaard this morning,” explained Jackson, who had been assistant to both Adkins and predecessor Lee Bowyer. “He’s said I’ll be afforded every opportunity to impress him and throw my hat into the ring.
“You know it’s long been an ambition of mine to manage this football club – to get the opportunity to play for it, to then captain it and coach it…becoming the manager would be fulfilling the ultimate ambition. That doesn’t change. I’ll be giving it everything I’ve got to win games, not just for me but for the football club to get ourselves out of this position, because we shouldn’t be there.”
The challenge for Jackson, who will be aided by Jason Euell, starts in testing fashion. Next up is a trip to second-placed Sunderland on Saturday.
But Jackson, asked if the fixture at the Stadium Light was effectively a free hit, responded: “Obviously it’s a very difficult start. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind morning and I’m not going to have loads of time to prepare that you normally would to, to bring my own stamp to it. But what a great game for us to look forward to. What a great place to go and play your football. For me to lead a Charlton Athletic team out there as caretaker manager will be a real honour.
“I’ll do my best to enjoy it. As far as a free hit, that suggests I’d be happy to lose a game – which I’ll never be. I know that it is a real task to go up to Sunderland and win the game, especially when they are in good form and we’re not in good form. But I fully believe we’re capable of going there and getting a result – that’s what I’ll be trying to get across to the players. That we have to believe we can go there and win. There’s no reason we shouldn’t do that.
“You shouldn’t need motivation to play your football anywhere. But certainly when you’re running out at places like that – in a proper game at a proper football club in front of a great crowd with our support there too – that should be motivation alone. I’ll push them as hard as I possibly can and let them know what the requirements are to play for this club.”
The Valley was a sea of negativity in midweek as Charlton lost 3-2 to Accrington Stanley.
But Jackson, who was in the playing ranks for the recent good times in SE7, knows that the atmosphere can be lifted.
“I’ve been in it long enough to see the effect the crowd can have on the team,” he said. “I know if a Charlton team is working and hassling from the first minute then the crowd are going to get behind them.My job is to get that out of the players, the question is why that hasn’t been happening up until now.
“The past is the past, we can’t change that. It’s my job to portray that to the players – you give everything to the shirt and they’ll give you everything back. That needs to be the bare minimum. We’ve got enough quality in the squad and if we bring that we can go on a run and get out of this position.”
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