CHRIS Powell believes the return of skipper Johnnie Jackson has been crucial to Charlton’s final push for promotion.

The midfielder has scored 13 goals for the Addicks this season and his return from injury has pushed the club to the verge of promotion after three straight victories.

Three more points at Carlisle on Saturday will see Powell’ side promoted if Sheffield Wednesday fail to win at Colchester and the Charlton boss believes Jackson’s leadership skills on the pitch have been an important factor in the club’s success.

He said: “Johnnie has been a great captain for us this year.

“We do miss him when he’s not playing.

“He’s a valuable player and one that leads from the front with the way he plays.

“It’s vital that his leadership skills and qualities come to the fore in the remaining four games.”

The versatile 29-year-old signed as a free agent by Phil Parkinson in July 2010 after a promising loan spell from Notts County was cut short earlier that year when he tore a hamstring against Stockport.

But Powell believes Jackson has more than repaid the club’s faith in him with vital goals and assists pushing the Addicks ever closer to Championship football next season.

Powell added: “He scored two crucial goals for us against the two Sheffield clubs.

“But then he wasn’t in the side for a number of weeks and I had Dany N’Guessan on the left, who did a good job.

“Lee Cook also came in on loan and did a terrific job for us.

“We then had Johnnie back on the bench against Oldham and I started him against Walsall where he created the goal.”

Follow us on Twitter @NewsShopperSprt