At the Charlton Club Day on Sunday August 3rd, Bob Peeters and Jonnie Jackson held a Q&A session as follows:
Q: Are you the sort of manager who studies the opposition ?
BP: Most important is knowing the strength of your own team. Our team need to know what to do with the ball and without the ball. But we have watched Brentford twice. The Championship has changed since I played in it. There is less hoofball. It is a marathon and not a sprint.
Q: What is the position with the number 9 shirt ?
JJ: He’s saving it for me !
BP: We are waiting to see what happens with Reza. We understand he has just played in a world cup and scored a goal and there is some interest. We hope he stays but if the right price is offered and he wants to go we wish him well. If he does go we may sign a replacement. That was a good question !
Q: What do you think about the pre-season friendlies ? Welling wasn’t very inspiring
BP: No, it wasn’t but it was two different teams and a lot of youngsters playing. People often say we should give youth a chance but, if you do and you lose to Welling, they are quick to moan. The important thing is that we have not had one injury. It is all about The Championship.
Q: What is the position with Chris Solly ?
BP: We are managing his knee. At the moment it is fine – he played 90 minutes yesterday. But we know that friendlies are not The Championship. It will be more intense. There will be wet pitches which will be harder work.
Q: As captain, how will you ensure the new players bond ?
JJ: It is already happening. You can be sure I have let them know what Charlton is all about. The players who have come in have the right characteristics. Brentford might still be an eye-opener for them though....
Q: Are we going to beat Millwall this year ?
JJ: It is definitely due. I think I’ve only taken two points off them.
BP: I can confirm that, if we beat them, I will shave my head.
Q: How much did the pitch affect us last year ?
JJ: It made a big difference. It was a real hindrance. I know both teams had to play on it but for us it was every time. If there was a bit of rain you started thinking the game might be off. Sometimes we were playing on carpets away from home. There will be no excuses this season.
Q: Bob, do you have a system of play ?
BP: We will normally play with two strikers but sometimes you do need to adjust if the game is going away from you. I like to give confidence to a starting team. I know how helpful that is as a player – not always chopping and changing. We are strong at the back. It was a good thing that our two new strikers scored good goals yesterday. But we don’t want to rely just on strikers. We want goals from all over the team. We want Jacko to have the chance to infiltrate. We created a lot of chances against Southend. Yesterday we created three chances and we scored two goals and someone missed a penalty.
Q: Realistically, where will we finish next season ?
BP: I am not a manager who states an ambition at the start of the season but I don’t want us to be in trouble like last year. The owner is aiming at the Premier League but Rome was not built in a day. You can be sure he will be very busy with Charlton Athletic rebuilding. It might take three years.
Q: Jacko – you must hope it is next year with your legs ?
JJ: I never had much pace to lose anyway. Of course I’d love to play in the Premier League but, if not, I’d like to give my all and play my part in getting there.
Q: Skip- you always give your all (loud applause)
Q: What is the position with Nick Pope ?
BP: The best goalkeeper will play. It doesn’t matter how old he is, the best goalkeeper will play.
Q: Has Jose Riga been in touch to borrow players ?
BP: I saw him last week. He’s not that happy but I thanked him for keeping us up. But now, I don’t care about Blackpool.
Q: Will you have the ultimate say about acquiring players ?
BP: I will have a say, but the owner pays the bill
Q: Johann Berg Gudmundsoson looks an exciting player. Might he bring us more goals and does he play left or right ?
BP: He can play both. He plays on the right for Iceland. He can give you the ball when no-one expects it.