Tariqe Fosu says he was not expecting to become a Charlton first-team regular so soon into his Valley career.

Fosu, who bagged a hat-trick in the 3-1 win over Fleetwood on Saturday, has been one of the Addicks’ stand-out performers this season.

Little was known about the 21-year-old when he joined from Reading in the summer. He was barely used by the Royals and was shipped out on loan to Fleetwood, Accrington Stanley and Colchester.

But Fosu’s playing time has drastically increased since moving to SE7. An injury to marquee signing Mark Marshall and Ben Reeves’ poor fitness levels pushed the winger into Charlton’s starting eleven.

Speaking after netting his first-career treble, Fosu said: “To be honest, I thought I’d start [the season] off on the bench.

“Obviously the gaffer had spoken to me already. Marshy got injured and I came into the side and it was a bit new for me - starting from the start of the season.

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“It was quite tough but I just worked hard every day. There are a lot of experienced boys in the dressing room and they help a lot. I’ve just been trying to kick on.

“I’m over the moon [with my hat-trick] - I’m happy to help the team win. It’s good to get three points away from home.”

Fosu scored the perfect hat-trick - striking with his left foot, right foot and head - to move the Addicks up to fifth in League One.

And he is now Charlton’s top scorer with five goals.

Fit-again duo Marshall and Reeves, who made their league debuts for the club against Fleetwood, face a huge task in displacing Fosu from the first-team.

But the trickster is relishing the competition that his team-mates will bring to the promotion-chasing squad.

Fosu added: “They’re top players, as I’ve seen in training. So I’ll take as much help and experience off them as possible.

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Tariqe Fosu | Picture: Benjamin Peters Photography

“Competition is the best thing and they're good players so I’ll learn from them.

“They've got experience. Whatever they can show me, I’ll try and add it to my game.”

The Fleetwood victory was Charlton’s first win in five games.

Karl Robinson’s men were outplayed by Wigan, but failure to convert their chances against Gillingham, Bury and Walsall cost them.

But Fosu says the players remained upbeat during the winless run.

He said: “We’ve been quite confident. We’ve been playing well.

“It was just a few little bits - obviously we conceded a bit easily. But we’ve been positive and confident.

“The boys have worked hard to get results and it’s good that we've got these three points. Now we can rest up and get ready for the next game.”