Church: Seagulls three points were the perfect Christmas present

News Shopper: Addicks striker Simon Church. PICTURES BY KEITH GILLARD. Addicks striker Simon Church. PICTURES BY KEITH GILLARD.

SIMON Church reckons three points are his favourite Christmas present this year after Charlton’s 3-2 Boxing Day victory over Brighton at The Valley.

A Lawrie Wilson double and a superb Yann Kermorgant free-kick, sandwiched by Leonardo Ulloa’s opener and late finish for the Seagulls, ensured the Addicks picked up a welcome first victory in six games.

It was also the first time Charlton, who are now four points above the relegation zone, scored three goals in a game this season and Church was pleased their progress.

The striker said: “It’s definitely my favourite Christmas present - that was the one that we were all hoping to get.

“It has been a long time coming and obviously where we are in the league makes every point vital.

“Coming off the back of last week at Bolton we came into this game really confident.

“We took a little while to get going but it’s a great result for us.”

Church’s strike partner Kermorgant grabbed his second goal in as many matches and the Welshman hopes this is the start of a fruitful partnership.

“Yann is fantastic,” said Church.

“Obviously he has done really well for the club over a couple of years and he has had a few injury problems this season.

“But everyone knows how much of a threat he is and for me personally it’s great to play with him.

“We haven’t got the amount of goals we would have liked but we are working hard, playing well and hopefully there are plenty more goals to come.”

Charlton’s next fixture on Sunday is against a Sheffield Wednesday side who sit three places below the Addicks in what is going to be one of the biggest games the season so far.

The Owls occupy the final relegation spot and Church is well aware of the importance of getting a result, with the opportunity to open up a seven-point gap on their opponents.

He said: “It’s massive, especially when you play against the teams around you - that is where you need to pick up your points.

“On Sunday it will be a big game but off the back of these two results we will go into it very confident.

“I haven’t seen much of them this season, but I have played against them a few of times and it is a tough team.

“We need to grind out results and even if we aren’t playing the best football, we need to stick together.

“Like today we went a goal behind but we ended up winning the game and that is the kind of resoluteness we’ll have to show all the way the season.”

And Church is looking forward to looking up the Championship table in the new year as opposed to glimpsing nervously downwards at the teams immediately below them.

“That is a big thing, especially in this league,” he said.

“If you can get back-to-back wins and results then it is massive and pushes you up the league.

“It is always tight throughout the year and there are not many points between the whole of the bottom of the table.

“It is important for us to pick up points especially at home in front of our fans and to put in good performances.”

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