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Powell: Star defender is a virtual cert in my team selection
CHARLTON boss Chris Powell has revealed Chris Solly pretty much picks himself for the Addicks by virtue of his consistent outstanding performances.
Last season’s player of the year struck his first goal for the club in more than two years to seal three vital points at Blackpool on Saturday.
The Addicks were already leading 1-0 thanks to Leon Cort’s early second half opener before Solly rifled home from 22 yards in the 73rd minute to put the gloss on a superb away performance.
Afterwards his manager was quick to salute his young full-back and the rest of his squad.
“I shouldn’t really say this but he’s one of the first names on the team sheet,” said a delighted Powell.
“He’s low maintenance, he comes in and gets on with his job, he’s a proper professional at such a young age.
“Any job I tell him to do, or ask him to do, he does it.
“He’s a superb young player and I’m really proud of him because he’s come through our academy and he’s been overdue a goal.
“And what a goal it was.
“I’m really pleased for him because he’s playing out of position, which was a big decision for me whether to keep him there.
“But I know he’ll do the job to the best of his ability.
“Lawrie Wilson has come in and I think he is improving each and every game now he’s getting a run of games.
“It just shows my squad has got a lot of belief and I’m really proud, not just of Chris Solly today, of everyone.”
Having only picked up one point from two home games last week, the Blackpool win was the perfect response for Powell.
The manager said: “I’m very pleased with our response from our loss on Tuesday night, I felt it was a real accomplished and disciplined performance by my players.
“We had to weather a bit of first half pressure, but we knew it would be a test of our character today.
“Ian Holloway is a manager I really admire in the way he sets his teams out, so we knew we would have to defend stoutly today and I felt we did that.
“In this league we’re finding out if you nudge in front you’ve always got a real chance to win games.
“We’ve been hurt recently in a number of our games and I’ve been asking my players to get a clean sheet because I feel we’ve always got the quality to hurt teams at the other end.
“We’ve been getting done by small details, we’ve been really close.”
Powell added: “We hit the post again today, we’ve been hitting the woodwork and been getting hurt by little deflections.
“We had one or two incidents and I just wanted them to keep that belief that we could perform here today and I’m really pleased that they ran out winners.
“If you put yourselves in the right positions you’re going to earn that clean sheet.
“I know that we’ve always got quality in and around the attacking third to get us goals and that’s what has happened today.”
Around 1,000 Charlton supporters made the long 424-mile round trip to get behind Powell’s men for the win and the boss was thrilled his side were able to send the travelling army home happy having stuck by his team after the two recent loses.
He said: “All the time they’ve been superb with us and they know this year is going to be up and down.
“We’ve got to realistic with ourselves, we’ve come up from League One as champions and that’s season has gone.
“We’ve got to get used to this league and it won’t be easy.
“The fans know that and they’ve been excellent.
“They came up here in good numbers, it’s a long way.
“I’m really pleased we can send them home with three points.
“This league can be so tight.
“You get one or two wins and it propels you up the table, you get a couple of losses it brings you back down.
“It’s going to be like that this season but we’ll be striving to string one or two wins together just to move us up into that top half.
“That’s what we’d like to do and that’s what we’re aiming for, but there’s 36 games to go so a lot of football to be played yet.”
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