Charlton AthleticSport

We can’t keep sacking managers to solve club’s ‘cultural issues’ says Charlton boss Ben Garner

Ben Garner says he doesn’t believe constantly changing managers is the answers to Charlton’s problems.

The Addicks are left wallowing in 16th in League One following their 1-0 home defeat against Cheltenham Town on Friday evening – their winless run stretching to five league outings.

A national newspaper report has recently suggested the Addicks boss’ future is under pressure, but Garner insists he wants to stay in SE7 to help alter the ‘cultural issues’ at the club.

“We’ve got more than enough there to win the game and I think we’ve played well enough to win the game,” said Garner following his side’s latest setback.

“We’ve got injuries, we’ve got a player ill, a player suspended but that’s where we are. We have to do more to come through that. That comes back to mentality. That’s something that has to change at the football club. I’m not trying to take pressure off me, but I don’t think it’s a managerial issue.

Charlton Athletic v Cheltenham Town SkyBet League One, The Valley, 02 December 2022
Picture : Keith Gillard

“You can keep changing manager every three or four months if you want. It’s deeper than that. It’s a cultural issue. It’s a mentality issue. That’s harder to change but that’s what we’ve got to do. I want to do that. I’m very willing to do that. I know I’ll be successful if I’m given the opportunity to do that.”

US-based owner Thomas Sandgaard is back in the UK this week and watched on as Alfie May’s late strike proved the difference at The Valley.

When asked how his conversations with his boss have gone this week, Garner said: “They’ve been fine. I haven’t really had too many conversations [with Sandgaard].

“We spoke briefly about recruitment for January and that’s it. From my perspective, I can’t work any harder than I am. I will continue to do that and fight and give everything for this football club. I don’t feel external pressure because I can’t place any more pressure than I do on myself. There’s deep change needed.

Charlton Athletic v Cheltenham Town SkyBet League One, The Valley, 02 December 2022
Picture : Keith Gillard

“I’m not deflecting off me, I’m taking absolute full responsibility. But I do think it’s deeper than that. You can change manager and you might get a short reaction but then it will seed back to the norm. We have to change that. We have to change the whole mentality of the football club and how we move forward.

“We had a brief conversation about January and then we’re going to take that further. It will be a really important window for us. We want to come out of it as strongly as we can. Whatever the budget is, it’s about doing the best possible with that.”

But is Garner confident he will be given the funds needed to add to his squad in January?

He said: “I don’t know is the honest answer. I’ll give my suggestions to Thomas. I’m sure that Steve [Gallen] will be doing the same from his perspective. Hopefully we can recruit well and add to the group.”


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