Dean Holden is excited about the challenge facing him at Charlton Athletic after being named their new manager today.
The 43-year-old, whose last management job came at Bristol City, has succeeded Ben Garner in a hotseat where the occupants have not tended to keep it warm for long – none of owner Thomas Sandgaard’s appointments is yet to last more than seven months.
But Holden’s task is to revive the fortunes of the League One club who are more concerned with pulling clear of the relegation zone than mounting a promotion challenge.
There is also plenty of supporter unrest directed at Sandgaard with Charlton Athletic Supporters’ Trust recently announcing they would campaign for the Colorado-based businessman to sell up.
“The fans are unhappy at the minute, I think that’s fair to say,” Holden told the club’s official website. “It’s my job to get them coming back through the turnstiles, excited to come and see a Charlton Athletic team play again.
“It’s a hugely proud moment. I’m privileged and excited. It is a fantastic club with a great history and steeped in tradition. I remember the time in the Premier League, I was growing up watching it.
“It’s a brilliant football club. It’s in a position at the moment which is not where we want it to be. My job is to come in and, particularly in the short term, improve performances and results to get us away from the dangerzone and higher up the table.
“I look at the squad and the youngsters coming through from the academy and it is blessed with good players. Not everything is broken. Clearly there are changes which need to be made but I’ve had an in-depth look at the squad. I’ve watched the team a lot this season. I’ve seen them live. I’ve seen the youngsters away at Plymouth in the Papa Johns. I look forward to watching the game tomorrow against Brighton and then we roll into Boxing Day and a three-game week.”
Holden briefly met with the players after training today.
“We’ve got to give the players belief,” he said. “They need to feel that the manager and staff have got confidence in them. There have been some individual errors which have led to goals.
“I want us to play on the front foot a little bit more, with and without the ball. I want us to be a team that takes the game to the opposition and plays with real purpose. Yes, I want us to have possession of the ball but I want us to play with a purpose – pass forward and run forward. Not have all possession around our own half and around the halfway line. It’s about getting into the attacking areas of the pitch and getting our attacking players on the ball in the right areas of the pitch. When we lose the ball I want to see a little more urgency going to win it back.
“There’s work to be done.
“It [him coming in] has been bubbling in the background for a period of time. Late last night we managed to get it sorted and I couldn’t wait to get down here.”
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