Charlton AthleticSport

Thomas Sandgaard: Last summer’s transfer window a major factor in Charlton not mounting promotion challenge

Thomas Sandgaard has had his say on Charlton’s 2021-22 campaign – and believes a poor summer transfer window was a key factor in the club failing to mount a League One promotion challenge.

The Addicks lost 4-0 at Ipswich Town at the weekend to finish the season in 13th place, a huge 24 points behind sixth-placed Wycombe Wanderers.

Charlton owner Sandgaard sacked Nigel Adkins in October after the club had won two of their opening 13 league fixtures.

Johnnie Jackson took permanent control of team affairs after a successful spell as caretaker.

Sandgaard, speaking to Charlton Live at the club’s end-of-season awards dinner on Sunday, said: “Everything we do behind the scenes, all these little improvements we are making, eventually they will start showing on the pitch. It hasn’t shown on the pitch yet. It could’ve gone a lot better. We got off to a horrible start, slowly got back into it, but we never made it past the mid-point [in the table].

“I was very optimistic (before the season started) but we did not have a good transfer window. We have got some really good players who are part of the core that we’re building on. But we got into the transfer [window] way too late and that gave us a horrible pre-season. You don’t get right out the gates well and you are more prone to injuries when you don’t have a good pre-season and that’s exactly what we saw.

Picture: Paul Edwards

“Unfortunately we had to say goodbye to Nigel and we had Johnnie Jackson as caretaker for six, seven or eight games and he won nearly all of them. It was a nice turnaround, then again we had a slump where we didn’t do so well.

“I really expect a much better transfer window. We have many people in getting us the right players. To the outside it doesn’t look like we’re doing too much, because we haven’t signed any players yet, but it’s a struggle to get through to agents and convince them it’s time to sign now instead of deadline day.

“We have built a recruitement system that is so much better. Before that it was a good old agent calling up and telling you someone is a good lad and that’s what you go by. That’s what it was when I took it over.

“There are better facilities now at the training ground. We already have our medical and sports science team and I’m demanding next season that our training has to have a minimum of 10 per cent more intensity, so we train at a minimum level we see in the Championship. It’s all around we’re improving.

“Just as in any business, if you keep putting better and better foundations in place it will eventually show on the pitch. But I’m impatient too.”

Sandgaard was asked about previous comments raising expectations of supporters – only for the Addicks to then under-deliver on the pitch.

“I’m too old to change my style,” he said. “I’m pretty confident where we will end up, so therefore I’m not keeping my mouth shut about that. I hope the fans appreciate I speak my mind, instead of being politically correct.”


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