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Nathan Jones: Charlton have taken a step in the right direction with clean sheet

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 24 Feb 2024

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Nathan Jones was delighted with Charlton’s first clean sheet in 22 games as they earned a hard-fought 0-0 draw with Sky Bet League One leaders Portsmouth.

Despite the result it was a lively game at The Valley, with Daniel Kanu and Callum Lang each striking the woodwork in the early stages.

As the second half progressed, the visitors gradually began to establish their dominance and were denied an 88th-minute winner when Macaulay Gillesphey pulled off an excellent last-ditch challenge on Myles Peart-Harris.

“They are a good side,” said the Charlton manager. “They’re top of the league, they’re scoring at will against most sides. So for us to put in that level of performance, keep a clean sheet…shows we’ve taken a step in the right direction.”

This result was the second of two impressive draws for the Addicks following last week’s 3-3 draw at Bolton.

“We went toe-to-toe with Bolton, we went toe-to-toe with these today. I saw lots of what I wanted to see from my team.

“We’ve gone three unbeaten now – yes, they are draws and we want to win games – but there’s a foundation being laid and it’s just constant work.”

After a tough game, Jones believed it was Portsmouth who were happier with the result.

“We showed we’re an aggressive team and got right after them. They’ll be getting on the bus and they’ll be delighted with the point.

“It’s a good point for them because the other two (sides in the top three) lost. They were in a proper game today, and that’s all we can ask.

“I thought today we were more than valid for our point.”

Portsmouth boss John Mousinho was of a similar opinion.

“We really dug in today,” he said. “We weren’t quite at our best, but I think the most important thing was to not lose the game.

“I’ve been in that situation so many times where you’re not playing particularly well but end up losing the game to a set piece, to a throw in.

“I think (the result) says that the lads mean business this year and they know obviously it is the business end of the season with only 11 games for us to go.

“It’s never easy coming away to Charlton. I think they are a side that are in a false league position. I can’t see them staying down there for long.”

Despite stretching their lead over their rivals, Mousinho said the result was frustrating for his players.

“They are still disappointed with the point and that’s the way I like them to be,” he said. “Obviously a point with the other results is good, but if we’d have taken all three it would have been even better.”

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