Bob Peeters admits Saturday’s derby clash with Millwall will have a bit of added spice as he takes on his former side for the first time as Charlton boss.

The one-time striker spent two injury plagued years at The Den between 2003 and 2005, scoring three times in 25 appearances for the Lions.

Those goals came in back-to-back games, a 90th minute equaliser against rivals Crystal Palace followed by a brace the next week in a 4-3 defeat to Gillingham.

Prolific it is fair to say the big Belgian was not, although the constant injuries didn’t help.

Now he is aiming to lead the Addicks to that rarest of feats – a victory over Millwall this weekend at The Valley, with Peeters more than happy his charges will have home advantage.

“I would be lying if I said it is a game like every game,” the Charlton head coach told News Shopper.

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“It is a special game but you can only earn three points and for me that is the most important thing.

“To be honest, I’m glad the first game against Millwall is a home game.

“I’m not fearing the reception from the fans, but if you have to go away to Millwall the first time that I go back, it might be different.

“I’m not scared of the fans, I played there and I’m now doing my job for Charlton. I’m very committed to Charlton but we need to play them two times anyway, maybe in the FA Cup as well, you never know.

“It is not a really special game but it means something because you played there.”

Charlton’s then Premier League status during Peeters’ spell at the Den means he never got to play in this particular derby, although he is fully aware of the rivalry between the two clubs.

“Of course, especially for the fans it is maybe the game of the year and also the fact that it has been a long, long time since Charlton could beat Millwall so that must be a trigger for the players as well.”

And is he the man to finally break Charlton’s hoodoo against their rivals?

“You never know,” the Valley chief responds.

“We always try to do our best and try to win games but if it is a proper derby it is going to be a very, very tough game.

“All the games we have played this season have been pretty tight, except maybe for Fulham where we gave it away first half.

“All the other games were very tight and that is going to be the case against Millwall as well I think.”

Peeters also revealed how some Lions supporters have responded well to him off the field since he took control in SE7 this summer.

“I’ve met a lot of Millwall fans,” he said.

“To be honest, they have been pretty positive. They say hello.

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“I was one time in a pub and there were some Millwall fans there and they buy me a drink, but again I do my job now for Charlton. That’s the most important thing.

“We will see in the game whether we can beat them.”

It is almost a decade since Peeters’ stay at The Den came to an end, although he concedes his name is hardly likely to feature in Millwall folklore.

“I enjoyed it but I was more in the hospital than on the pitch because I had an operation on my foot and it was the wrong surgery.

“Then I had to go back to Belgium to have more surgery.

“The games I played in they were not too bad but I went from one injury to another so it wasn’t the best two years of my career as a player.

“I didn’t play that much, I think I played 25 games in two years as a sub mainly because when I came from an injury I didn’t play that much because I wasn’t fit enough to play.”

Arguably the lowest point for the striker was missing out on Millwall’s epic 2004 FA Cup final defeat to Manchester United.

“Of course,” the Belgian admits.

“Every game you miss is painful but at that moment I’d had an operation on my foot.

“I went to see the game and we were involved in the team but there was a difference between playing in a cup final.

“I won a cup final in Holland – it was 2-0 and I scored the first.

“That’s a different feeling than when you are sitting injured next to the pitch.”

With the Lions finding themselves engulfed with off the field money problems in the summer of 2005, it came as no surprise to the injury prone forward when he was shown the door by the club.

“There were a lot of troubles at Millwall,” Peeters recalls.

“The chairman Theo Paphitis was gone, then Dennis Wise and his assistant Ray Wilkins left.

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“There were a lot of financial problems and Colin Lee came in as manager.

“I was getting fitter in the pre-season and he said ‘We have financial problems so off you go’. That’s when I left the club and went to Genk in Belgium.

“If a manager tells you to leave you don’t have to regret it. If they want you to leave, you leave and that’s what I did.

“I’m now at Charlton. It is always a special thing when it is a proper derby and it is a game of the season but there is also the link between me and Millwall, so it is going to be a hot afternoon.”

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