Charlton midfielder Jordan Cousins has welcomed the fight for places to be in Bob Peeters’ starting XI.

The Addicks begin their Championship campaign in just over a fortnight’s time at Brentford and Cousins can’t wait for the big kick-off at Griffin Park.

He said: “The game against Brentford is the aim.

“We have a good strong squad and the competition for places is fierce.

“First and foremost my aim this season is to make the starting XI.

“Once I do that I’ve got to make sure I stay there and keep on improving.

“I’m still a young player and I think I still have things to work on, but the main thing is to be consistent to allow myself to be in and around the starting XI.”

Cousins was just one of a quartet of first team members to feature in Wednesday’s game at Ebbsfleet.

And despite the disappointing 1-0 defeat, the England U21 international was pleased with his own display.

“I feel tonight was one of my strongest performances of pre-season,” said Cousins.

“Realistically I’d say I’ve probably started a bit slowly.

“Coming back from international duty meant I didn’t have much of a break, but now I feel as though I’m getting back into shape and getting game time which is vital at this point of the season.”

A youthful Addicks squad made the trip to Ebbsfleet and Cousins feels the experience will serve the youngsters in good stead despite the result.

He explained: “I think we started strongly, but when you take off some of the older lads and bring on the younger players sometimes anxiety creeps in and the flow of the game suffers.

“But I was their age one day and it’ll be good for their experience in the future.”

One of those younger players was Joe Gomez, and Cousins was full of praise for his team-mate’s progression so far this summer.

“For Joe to be involved with the first team at just 17 years old is incredible,” he said.

“The way he’s settled in has been brilliant, and if he keeps going and keeps his head right there’s no doubt he’s going to be a top player at this football club.”

With a host of new arrivals at Sparrows Lane this summer, Cousins finished by commending the club’s recent pre-season tour of Spain, where the team picked up two victories in their two matches.

“Everyone’s gelling well.

“The trip to Spain was great for us because we were basically with each other all of the time - that allowed us to bond and it’s worked well.”

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