Charlton star Ricky Holmes says he wouldn't have let Lee Novak and Andrew Crofts leave the club.

Novak and Crofts had their Charlton contracts mutually terminated on Thursday, before joining Scunthorpe.

Both players were not first-team starters this season and wanted to play regular football.

Speaking after Charlton’s 4-3 win over Oldham, Holmes said: “I was gutted [when they left].

“I was rooming with Lee Novak. I wouldn't have let them go, but I don't know the ins and outs. I know they want to play football.

“If I was sitting on the bench, which they have been, I would want to go and play. So maybe they forced the move, maybe they forced their [the club’s] hand. So I’m not sure what actually happened but good luck to them.

“I’m sure they are going to play at Scunthorpe - hopefully they're not too good against us.”

Novak and Crofts joined Charlton on free transfers last summer.

Novak endured an injury-plagued season at the Valley, while Crofts came under criticism, which was sometimes unwarranted, for his performances.

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Rangers forward Joe Dodoo, who scored on his Charlton debut against Oldham, was loaned in on deadline day to replace Novak, but no midfielder was signed to fill the void left by Crofts.

Dodoo and Josh Magennis are the Addicks’ only senior strikers and Ahmed Kashi, Jake Forster-Caskey and Joe Aribo will fight it out for a starting berth in midfield.

Charlton are third in League One after winning four of their first five league games. And Holmes is still confident of being in and around the promotion picture in January.

He added: “The squad has to take us to January, we haven't got a choice. It’s probably not my place to say, but we lost a couple of experienced boys who I wouldn't have let go.

“But the lads who have come in today, Dodoo has gone and scored already so it looks like it’s good business at the moment. We’ll see.

“If we’re up there or thereabouts in January, I’m sure a few fresh bodies [will come in]. Let’s not forget we still have [Ben] Reeves and [Mark] Marshall to come back so we’ve got enough to be up there.”

Holmes joined Dodoo, Billy Clarke and Tariqe Fosu on the scoresheet after netting a 40-yard screamer at Oldham.

News Shopper: Joe Dodoo

Joe Dodoo

Dodoo came off the bench in the 50th minute to score Charlton’s fourth goal, and looked lively playing as the number nine.

Holmes was impressed with the former Leicester striker, who is yet to train with his new team-mates.

The winger said: “It’s brilliant for Dodoo to score on his debut because he hasn't even trained with the boys.

“He turned up at the hotel on Friday night, introduced himself and did the worst initiation song I’ve ever heard - I don't know what it was, I couldn't even tell you.

“I just switched off and started eating my dinner again. He’s come in and got his goal and I’m sure he’ll be a great addition to the side.”

When Holmes was asked about his wonder goal, he added: “I didn't realise how far out I was, I probably shouldn't even be shooting from there, should I? It’s definitely up there.

“There was last season at Shrewsbury and I scored a few with Northampton as well. But it definitely ranks high up there anyway.”