Addicks defender not ruling out play-off bid

Picture by Keith Gillard

Picture by Keith Gillard

First published in Sport
Last updated
News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , freelance sports journalist

Charlton centre-back Andre Bikey-Amougou isn't ruling out a play-off challenge following Saturday's 1-1 opening day draw at Brentford.

Bob Peeters' side took the lead through Igor Vetokele on 64 minutes but were made to pay the price for missing a host of opportunities when Tommy Smith rescued a point for the Bees with five minutes remaining.

Cameroon international Bikey put in a solid defensive display at Griffin Park to help earn a decent point in the first Championship match of the season.

And the 29-year-old, who joined the club on a free transfer last month following a spell in Greece with Panetolikos, is confident the display in west London showed why they can compete for a top six finish.

He said: "We played well. Brentford had motivation because they wanted to show everyone they are good enough to stay in this league so it was not easy.

"The ambition for Charlton is play-offs.

"We need it because last year Charlton were like that (clicks fingers) to go down and I'm sure many people expect us to be at the bottom again this year.

"But with the team we have I'm sure we can fight for promotion."

Despite his optimism, Bikey is the first to accept the unpredictability of the Championship means it would be misleading to assume a return to the big time is on the cards just yet.

"No-one is preparing for the Premier League, 100 percent sure," he explained.

"No-one expected Charlton to be towards the bottom last year because the season before that they finished in ninth position.

"In this league anything can happen and anyone can beat anyone.

"We have to keep going and take our chances.

"Unfortunately we didn't today, but that is football."

Bikey has previously played in England for Reading, Burnley and Middlesbrough, although he acknowledged adjusting back to Championship football following a year in Greece has been tougher than expected.

He admitted: "I'm happy, but it's not been easy because the tempo is totally different here than somewhere else.

"It's a sharp, fast, high tempo and you have to be awake all the time."

Bikey played the whole match against Brentford alongside fellow summer-signing Tal Ben Haim at the heart of the defence and wants the duo, along with fellow centre-back Michael Morrison, to develop a good understanding throughout the season.

"I enjoyed it (partnership with Ben Haim).

"In pre-season we played a couple of games together and also with Morrison.

"It was OK, we just have to manage it like you normally have to.

"There needs to be a lot of talking and concentration - not only with him but with Morrison as well."

Striker Vetokele is the player who has impressed the defender the most since his arrival from Copenhagen.

Bikey said: "He's short, young but strong. He showed a difference on the pitch today.

"He's a good player.

"I think that if he's fit, then we will score a lot of goals." 

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