Cousins has eye on central midfield return after Poyet exit

Charlton's new third choice kit is shown off by Jordan Cousins. Picture by Edmund Boyden.

Charlton's new third choice kit is shown off by Jordan Cousins. Picture by Edmund Boyden.

First published in Sport News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , sports editor

Jordan Cousins says he is only too happy to come back into the centre of Charlton’s midfield following Digeo Poyet’s departure.

Poyet snubbed a new contract at The Valley and officially joined West Ham yesterday after the Irons thrashed out a compensation package with the Addicks.

And although Cousins is sad to see his friend move on, it could potentially signal a return to his favoured central role after a spell out wide last season.

The 20-year-old said: “Diego is a big loss because he is a very popular player and he came in and played 20-odd games for us last season.

“But I can play in the position, there others than can play the position too.

“Yoni Buyens has come in and is very competent in that position so there are lots of places up for grabs.

“The more players that can play in each position the better because there might be injuries.

“I am a player that if I am asked to play somewhere I will because I am just happy to be playing.

“If I play central I am happy, on the right I am happy. I’m just happy to be on the pitch.”

Cousins added: “When I was on the right I learned a lot so now if I play centrally I know what the right midfielder expects from me.

“Obviously I do want to play in centre midfield but if the gaffer asks me to play on the right then I won’t complain.

“I’m just doing a job for the team.

“I can only come in here each day and improve my game because I know I have a long way to go and a lot of improving to do.

“Last season I started to play with consistency and started to learned how to be consistent in the game.

“It was a surprise in the end I played so many games but I think that is experience.

“You’ve always got to learn and it was a good experience for me.”

New head coach Bob Peeters has already indicated he wants to bring more academy graduates like Cousins into the first team, something the highly-rated Greenwich-born star is pleased to hear.

He explained: “It is good but it is up to us young players to prove that we can do a job for him.

“It is great that he wants to play young players but it is up to us to show him in training and in games we are good enough to be in the team.”

Peeters expects to bring in more fresh faces having already snapped up Igor Vetokele, Buyens and Franck Moussa.

Cousins has already been impressed by what the trio have shown in training and is looking forward to getting to know them as pre-season progresses.

“The new boys are all nice lads, they bring quality to the team and that is what we need –quality players who can adapt to other situations.

“Every game there might be injuries so we need players who can come in and adapt to the team.

“The trip to Belgium last weekend and the one next week in Spain will bring us on another level bonding wise.”

And the young midfielder is also set to become more familiar with Peeters’ coaching methods betwen now and the big kick-off at Brentford on August 9.

“It is early days to talk about the boss,” Cousins said.

“If you ask me in three or four weeks I will know a bit more but for right now he is getting everybody together, getting to know each other and just throwing out a few ideas so everybody knows their job.

“That is the best thing to do right now.

“The best thing is for us to get to know each other so when we are on the pitch we are comfortable with each other.

“I feel good. There’s a good mood in the training ground, everybody has got a fresh start and we are bringing in some quality players.

“You need competition to push forward.

“Obviously when players come in and improve the team it is good, it makes you up your own game.

“We have seen the new players come through the door now. It is up to us to bond as a team and get the club where it needs to be.”

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