Charlton boss Karl Robinson says the club did not want to let Lee Novak and Andrew Crofts go.

The pair left the Addicks on August 31 and joined Saturday’s opponents Scunthorpe on free transfers.

Novak, who endured an injury-hit 2016/17 campaign, was playing second fiddle to Josh Magennis, while Crofts lost his place in midfield to the returning Ahmed Kashi.

Novak picked up a knock in Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Bradford and is a doubt for the Charlton game, but Crofts could be recalled to the starting eleven.

Robinson said: “They’ve got Crofty and Novak who we know very well. We know it’s going to be difficult.

“Both players went with a heavy heart, we didn't want them to go. From a football perspective, we thought it was best they stay here. We’ve got respect for those two, and Churchy [Simon Church] who’s been at Charlton before and someone I’ve worked with.

“So they've got players in their team and we know how good they are. We’re under no illusions.”

Novak’s transfer deadline day departure left the Addicks with just one senior striker before Joe Dodoo’s loan arrival from Rangers. However, the latter has failed to make an impact in SE7.

MORE: Charlton strengthened Scunthorpe by letting Novak and Crofts leave, says Iron striker Church

Since leaving the Valley, the ex-Birmingham striker has scored four goals in 12 league starts.

Robinson added: “There were so many different facets of what went on [with Novak’s exit] that will stay internal, obviously.

“Listen, he came off injured on Tuesday so whether he’s available, we don't know. We don't know what his injury is, it’s not like he’s going to tell any of our lads what it is.

“He’s left a lot on people here, in a positive way, everyone liked him. People have got so much time for Lee and I do as well, and that’s the same for Crofty.”

Novak netted just twice in his only full season with the Addicks - and came under-fire from Charlton fans for his performances.

And Robinson has defended his former player.

He said: “Lee Novak has got nothing to prove to anyone. He’s scored goals everywhere he's gone. He had a difficult time here.

“He had so many small injuries whether it be his hand, a slight knock on his knee.

“His career just didn't get going here. He felt like every time he tried harder, it was compounding it. He goes to Scunthorpe with a fresh, clean mentality and that’s what he needed.”