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Charlton keeper not underestimating Barnsley's goal threat
TOMORROW is Football for Fiver at The Valley but Addicks keeper Ben Hamer is taking nothing for granted against a Barnsley side who will be out to dampen the party atmosphere.
The Addicks go into the Barnsley game one point and four places above the Tykes in the Championship table.
Hamer is as keen as anyone for Charlton to improve their home form having only picked up a solitary point from the last available nine at The Valley, although he knows it will be no easy task against a Barnsley team who recently won 5-0 in a televised game at Birmingham City.
“On that particular day we were coming back from Ipswich and watching it on the coach,” the Addicks keeper recalled.
“Everything they seemed to touch hit the back of the net.
“Obviously they were very clinical on the day but at the moment they are below us in the table.
“On any given day any team has got a chance to beat each other.
“We’ve already lost two games at home this season, which is as many as we lost in the whole of last season.
“We want to make our place a fortress and not lose any more at home, so we will be looking to put in a good performance and try and win the game.”
Hamer kept a clean sheet in Charlton’s last game, a stunning 2-0 win at Blackpool.
Those have been hard to come by this season for the Addicks, although Hamer isn’t necessarily surprised by that bearing in mind the competition and quality in the Championship compared to League One.
He explained: “Last year it was like a natural commodity where we were getting clean sheets every week but this year they’ve been a bit tough to come by.
“I think the league has proved that as well, it is a very strange league.
“From the last four games we’ve come in thinking we should have had 12 points from them and if you’d have taken a loss at any of them it would probably have been at Blackpool.
“I think squads are so fairly balanced in the league so anyone can beat anyone. You only have to look at Peterborough who started the season off not too great and then won two away games at Hull and Barnsley.
“I’ve got my own personal targets for how many clean sheets I would like to keep this season, which I don’t tell anyone about.
“As a team if you are looking at promotion you’ve got to keep at least between 10 and 15 clean sheets to get in those play-off places.
“Anything over 10 would be great but obviously we know how strange this league is and how hard it is to keep clean sheets, so we will just take every game as it comes.
“If we win, hopefully we do so with a clean sheet.
“To go away from home and beat Blackpool with a clean sheet was something of quite a rare feat for us because other teams haven’t managed to do it.
“Someone told me a stat that Blackpool had not failed to score at home since December 2011, so it was nice to keep a clean sheet.”
Hamer added: “The Championship possesses more quality, that is clear to see for me.
“There are more teams on an even keel as well.
“Last year in League One you had the likes of Charlton, the two Sheffield clubs, Huddersfield and Preston who would have been the bigger clubs and seen as scalps in a league with more smaller clubs.
“This season everyone in the Championship is quite a big club and most of them have been in the Premier League at some point.
“When we’ve played this year they’ve all been hard games.
“I wouldn’t say any game is a given in the Championship, you’ve got to work hard for every point you.”
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