CHARLTON forward Danny Haynes believes his side “grew some balls” in last night’s stunning 2-1 success at high-flying Leicester to end a four-match spell without a league victory.
Former Fox Yann Kermorgant had given the visitors an early lead with a neat finish from a Bradley Pritchard cutback, only for Chris Wood to cancel out the strike 20 minutes from time.
Leicester’s equaliser was the cue for Addicks boss Chris Powell to alter his 4-1-4-1 system to a more attacking 4-4-2 formation with the introduction of Haynes for Dorian Dervite, and the substitute certainly did not waste any time making an impact.
Little over a minute after entering the fray, he lashed a shot beyond Kasper Schmeichel to earn Charlton a vital victory which propelled them into the top half of the table.
Haynes said: “It was very, very mentally important for the boys, and obviously for the gaffer and the coaching staff.
“It was a three points that was needed and to hold onto that lead at Leicester as well, no one would have put money on that.
“If someone had said to me ‘three points, 2-1’ I definitely would have taken that, so it was a good result.
“Our results recently meant lots of people would have looked at it and thought it was going to be hard for us and that we were underdogs.
“But we managed to show strength and character and we needed to just grow some balls, which we did.”
He added: “We have got quality players.
“Recently when we have gone one goal up, we have tended to lose or get a draw but the lads dug in and we said at half-time not to concede.
“We did concede but our heads didn’t drop, we kept on pushing and kept on going and we could see that their centre halves were pushing on, which left lots of space in behind which the gaffer put me on to run in behind.
“There’s plenty of quality, even the players who did not make the bench.
“We have got a really strong squad and everyone brings different things to the game, so everyone is fighting for a place at this club.
“No-one is getting disheartened because everyone is getting a fair chance.
“Rhoys Wiggins made his first start tonight since Crystal Palace in September.
“There is good healthy competition.”
Haynes’ spectacular winner will go down as another goal-of-the-season contender.
Strangely enough, his main rival looks like being himself, following another stunning strike against Derby at The Valley on December 28.
Haynes was just happy to be on the score sheet again and was unsure which one would get his vote in the end of season poll.
But in terms of importance, Tuesday’s strike may just edge it.
He conceded: “I was lucky enough to be in a position to get a strike off and fortunately enough it went in the top corner for me.
“I was a bit off balance but I just made sure that I made good connection with the ball and let rest to its work.
“I just thought ‘I have got to hit this’.
“It bounced up just right for me on my weaker foot, so I just thought, ‘why not, I’ll have a go’.
“They were both as important as each other.
“Against Derby we ended up with a draw and this one we got a win, so on a results basis I would say this one.”
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