Charlton strengthened Scunthorpe by letting Lee Novak and Andrew Crofts leave, says Iron striker Simon Church.

Novak and Crofts had their contracts terminated on August 31 which allowed them to find new clubs - and the pair joined the Addicks' League One rivals on free transfers

Church, who signed a short-term deal at Scunthorpe last month, believes their Valley departures aided the Iron.

The former Charlton striker, 28, told News Shopper: “Lee and Crofty have definitely strengthened us. They're experienced players, especially at this level.

“They’ve spent most of their careers in the Championship and Crofty has also been in the Premier League.

“It’s a great bit of business for Scunthorpe bringing that experience in. Going forward, looking to get promotion, it’s only going to help.”

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Andrew Crofts | Picture: Benjamin Peters Photography

Both players spent just one full season with Charlton, Novak endured an injury-hit campaign and Crofts lost his place to midfield enforcer Ahmed Kashi in the summer.

They could line up against their former club for the first time on Saturday as third-place Scunthorpe host fourth-place Charlton.

Novak is the Iron’s first-choice striker and has scored four goals in 12 league starts, while Crofts has struggled with injuries.

Church, who has been ruled out of the Charlton clash with a hamstring problem, says Novak and Crofts have nothing to prove after their turbulent year in SE7.

He said: “You look at Crofty and Lee’s careers. They've played a lot of games and a lot of football.

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Lee Novak | Picture: Benjamin Peters Photography

“They're experienced players and they don't need to prove anything to anyone.

“Sometimes you go to a club and it doesn't work out, whether the manager doesn't like you, sometimes it just doesn't happen.

“But Lee’s come here and done really well and is scoring goals. Crofty has been unfortunate with injuries but look at the career he’s had.”

Church has had spells with MK Dons, Aberdeen and Dutch side Roda JC since leaving Charlton in 2015.

And a serious hip injury suffered in Holland meant his Scunthorpe debut last month was his first competitive appearance in over a year.

News Shopper: READY FOR ACTION: Wales striker Simon Church

Simon Church 

He is now part of a promotion-chasing team who have Charlton breathing down their necks.

Church has been impressed with Charlton’s start to the season. He was an Addicks player when unpopular owner Roland Duchatelet bought the club in 2014.

The Wales international said: “They’ve done well. They've got some really good players.

“The manager has got his style of football and knows what he wants to do. I think the club have given into him a little bit and allowed him to implement what he wants to do.”

Karl Robinson, Duchatelet’s seventh Valley boss, celebrates a year in charge as Charlton manager tomorrow - and Church thinks the Addicks hierarchy have learned from previous mistakes.

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Karl Robinson | Picture: Benjamin Peters Photography

He added: “You see it all over the place in football, people losing their jobs within a couple of months. It’s a ruthless game, it’s a results-based business, which is understandable.

“You can’t expect miracles overnight. I think they've learned their lessons. In previous years, when it first happened [sacking Chris Powell], the fans were standing up against the club.

“The players were professional and we had to get our heads down. But in the changing room, we were feeling exactly the same as the fans.

“So it’s good for them to learn their lessons. The club are going in the right direction.”