Charlton AthleticSport

‘We need to play to our strengths’ – Ben Garner on Charlton Athletic’s League One opening day challenge at Accrington

Ben Garner will not be ditching any of his style of play plans for Charlton Athletic’s opening game of the League One season at Accrington Stanley tomorrow.

The match at the Wham Stadium is the 42-year-old’s first competitive fixture in charge of the Addicks since he succeeded Johnnie Jackson this summer.

The Lancashire club’s physicality helped them win both encounters last season.

Charlton’s only league win over John Coleman’s team came in January 2019 in a spiky SE7 clash which saw Jonny Maxted and Lyle Taylor sent off before Karlan Grant converted a 90th-minute penalty.

“We’ll be fully respectful of Accrington,” Garner told the South London Press. “They are an established League One team now. They beat us in both games last season, so that’s something we want to put right.

“John has done an incredible job there, he really has.

“One thing is for sure – we have to fight, run and work as hard as Accrington, otherwise you’ve got no chance. But if we try and out-Accrington them then we’re going to lose, that is what they are good at. We need to play to our strengths and principles.

“We have to be brave, show courage and identify where the spaces are on the pitch to hurt them.

“There were some really promising signs of that against Swansea [a 2-1 friendly defeat last weekend], some really good football. The bravery, courage on the ball and that change of tempo through the pitch – and speed – we cut through Swansea numerous times, especially in the first half. It’s something we’ll look to do once we get into the season now.”


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