Hot on the back of a defeat to table-toppers Leeds United, Brentford have another tough task as they take on in-form Charlton at The Valley. Billy Grant talks to Martin Adkins from Charlton’s SE7 Pod to get the low down on the Addicks.
Charlton are finally back in the big time. How was life back in Division one?
It was tough, especially last season, because there are some big teams in that division like Sunderland and Portsmouth and there is a lot of expectation from the fans that we will go up regardless. But you have to earn that right and in Lee Bowyer we had manager who made sure his players knew that.
When Duchatalet employed Karl Robinson a lot of fans were very positive as he was an experienced manager at League One level but his stubbornness with playing same formation and making same mistakes every week was his downfall.
However, we have him to thank for bringing Lee Bowyer in to the club. We’ve finally got a manger who doesn’t pander to Roland Duchatalet’s madcap ideas of using players from his network of clubs. The penny thankfully dropped with Duchatalet that his way wasn’t necessarily the right way.
You made Sunderland fans cry once again – beating them in a playoff final at Wembley for the second time. How was that
The playoff final was just a brilliant day out. It bought all the fans together for the day and we really got behind the team that Sunday. I have to say, I was still confident of a top two finish six weeks from end of season. So when we were confirmed in the play offs I, along with most fans, were confident we could do it.
We took a lot of fans up to Doncaster and won that comfortably. But all credit to them they brought us down to earth with a bump in the second leg and made us work for the win.
With that in mind, everyone was lot more guarded in their confidence for the final and of course the way we went behind, with the own goal, made us even more so.
However under Bowyer the team don’t know when they are beaten.
Bees put a few cheeky bids in for Lyle Taylor. How did that go down at The Valley?
That’s just football isn’t it. Goalscoring strikers like Lyle Taylor will always be in demand . We need to give him the contract he deserves. Without his goals we wouldn’t be where we are now. So if we don’t, I fear he’ll be off in January as he is out of contract in the summer.
Charlton have made a good start to the season. Pleased with how you’ve come out the traps?
If you’d offered us eight points out of twelve in July, every fan would have bitten your hand off. So yes I’m very happy with the start.
You made some decent signings in the summer. Who should we be looking out for?
We have made some excellent signings. The returning Josh Cullen, on loan from West Ham, was brilliant last season and is definitely one to look out for. As is Jonny Williams. Chuks Aneke signed from MK Dons could be surprise as well.
The signings of Tomer Hemed and Beram Kayal from Brighton will prove key with their experience. And let’s not underestimate the importance of signing Lee Bowyer again. He’s a big pull when trying to sign players .
On Saturday, Charlton face a Brentford team still gelling after signing ten first team players in summer – spending £30m of the £60m received selling players in the last six months. Included in our new pack are players like Pontus Jansson (Leeds), Mattias Jensen (Celta Vigo) and record signing Bryan Mbuemo (Troyes). Unsurprisingly we haven’t look as formidable in midfield after losing Sawyers and upfront after losing Neil Maupay who we have yet to replace. But we’re work in progress. It’s a good time to be playing Brentford. Do you think Charlton will be able to take advantage?
Brentford are good solid championship team who continually make good signings. I expect a tough game but our home form is outstanding.
I think we’ll shade it 2–1