We have crazy quality in the squad for this level – Charlton striker Conor Washington

BY LOUIS MENDEZ

Striker Conor Washington reckons you’ll struggle to find a squad stronger than Charlton Athletic’s in League One.

The victory over Fleetwood Town on Tuesday night was the Addicks of sixth win a row. It’s a far cry from their early season form where they won just once in their opening four.

The club had been under a transfer embargo for the best part of a year but Thomas Sandgaard’s takeover heralded the start of a new era in SE7. The embargo was lifted and boss Lee Bowyer wasted no time in building a brand-new side.

The South Londoners are now just three points shy of leaders Peterborough United and Washington, who bagged a brace against the Cod Army, says the dressing room is packed with high-calibre players.

The Northern Irish international said: “I went away for the international break and came back and I felt we had about 15 new players. Credit has got to go to the manager, to [director of football] Steve Gallen and obviously the owner as well because the players I came back to were just of crazy quality at this level. I think the recruitment has been brilliant and they’re the right type of characters as well.

Washington looks to cause trouble in the Fleetwood penalty area. Paul Edwards

“Training has gone up a level since they’ve all come in. If you look at our 11 and then the subs and the lads who aren’t even in the squad and are on the injury table – I wouldn’t like to say that anybody in the league would have a better squad than that. It’s a great run. You look around the changing room and it just feels like we’re not going to get beat.

“It’s really early days still but like I alluded to, if you look around the dressing room and you’re signing players like Chris Gunter and Ben Watson, you think this is a group of players that have all the experience in the world of promotions and playing at a higher level than the one we’re at now. We need to utilise that. There’s going to be sticky patches and we’ve got to have enough about us in the dressing room to get through those as well.

“I keep getting on at the lads as they haven’t managed to put me in too many times yet. It’s coming. I make the runs really early, there’s probably not too many strikers that make those runs as much as I do. It’s still a bit of a learning curve.

“The team is still relatively new, we’re still less than 10 games into the season. We sort of hashed a squad together at the last minute because of the circumstances we were under. When people of Andrew Shinnie’s quality are getting on the half turn, when he’s played a few more games and getting used to the team, it can only be good for players like myself.”

PHOTOS: PAUL EDWARDS


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