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Hamer excited by Championship challenge
CHARLTON keeper Ben Hamer insists he and his team-mates are raring to go ahead of the new Championship season.
The Addicks slipped up on Saturday in the so-called Kent derby against Gillingham as they went down 1-0, their first pre-season defeat.
But the Somerset-born shot stopper believes the whole squad will be ready for what is ahead come August 18 at St Andrews.
He said: “All the boys are buzzing.
“We’re all stepping up a level together, the majority of the lads are the same from last year and we’re taking the step as a team from winning the league.
“All the lads are positive and raring to go but obviously we need to step it up now over the last two games of pre-season.
“We need to show what we’re capable of and I’m sure everyone will be ready for next season.”
The League One champions begin their league campaign with a trip to Birmingham, followed by home meetings against Leicester and Hull.
On paper it looks a very tough start for the newly-promoted Addicks and Hamer admitted they will have to fight for every point throughout the whole campaign.
He also revealed no targets have been set in the dressing room despite the success of Norwich and Southampton over the last two seasons in securing back-to-back promotions from League One to the Championship.
“There’s no easy games in the Championship, nothing comes as a given,” said Hamer “You’ve got to work hard for every point you get during every minute you play.
“I’m sure it will be that way this year for us, but we’ve got hard workers in our team with a lot of desire and I’m sure we’ll be up to the task.
“We’ve not spoken about targets.
“Last year we knew we wanted to be up there and took every game as it came.
“This year will probably be the same.”
He added: “We’re not setting ourselves any targets, we just want to go out there and do as well as we can in each and every game we play.
“We’ll see where it takes us, but if we find ourselves in a good position halfway through the season, we’ll have to have a look at ourselves and have a push.
“People are saying ‘can you do a Southampton or can you do a Norwich?’ “Well, it’s a different situation.
“We’re Charlton - it’s a completely new season.
“If you look at Reading last year, they started off very poorly building up to the Christmas period, but then they strung 13 or 14 wins together and that’s what you need.
“You need to take that momentum going into the last few months of the season and if you’ve got that, then you have a good chance.”
Saturday’s loss was Charlton’s first of pre-season having beaten the likes of European giants Sporting Lisbon last month.
On a blustery afternoon in Kent a solitary Danny Kedwell goal proved to be the difference between the sides.
Hamer conceded Addicks need to perform a lot better in the near future but confessed fitness is still important at this stage - and also praised Martin Allen’s men for the way the came at his side.
The keeper said: “We all want to work on our fitness and 90 minutes is what the boys have been building towards, and the lion’s share of them got it today.
“It’s not nice losing games but fitness is under the belt and we’ve got a couple more games, where we really need to nail down the basics before we go into the season.
“Gillingham came out and got in our facesand to be fair to them when we did give the ball away, they moved it very well and probably made us look like a League Two team at times.
“But as I said, it is pre-season and we’ve got plenty of opportunities to put it right until Leyton Orient.
“It was just a bit of a blip today.”
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