New Charlton manager Russell Slade saw his team come through their first test of the pre-season with a pleasing 4-1 victory against Welling United on Saturday (July 9).
Slade said: “This was the first chance to show a response from relegation last season and people were here to look for at Charlton’s response from that relegation.”
However, the team didn’t emerged unscathed from the encounter with Alou Diarra pulling up in the warm-up with a suspected hair line fracture of the foot. He’s now out for several weeks.
Slade told the club's website : “I don’t know how long that will take to heal but I think we could be looking at maybe six weeks. It isn’t something that he will be able to get over quickly.”
Fellow centre-backs Harry Lennon and Patrick Bauer are also on the treatment table.
Aside from that blow, Slade was pleased with what he saw. “I thought we saw a good attitude, work ethic and a willingness to go and win a football match, which we did comfortably,” he said.
“We were looking to get in between Welling – in pockets of space – and that’s how we caused them problems in the second period. We didn’t quite get it right in the first half and sometimes you need to move it fast and late, and we didn’t quite get the timing right.
“We haven’t done an awful lot of work on that yet, though. We are still in the early stages of giving ourselves an identity, a shape and how we want to play. The two weeks have all been about fitness, despite the game.”
New signing Nicky Ajose made an immediate impact scoring a second-half hat-trick to add to El-Hadji Ba’s early header.
The manager was full of praise for Ajose. He said: “There are a lot of teams in this league that would like a Nicky Ajose.
“He is a competent finisher and you just feel that if a full-back or centre-half miss a ball then he is going to be in or goal, and is more likely to finish than not.”
Next up is a friendly away to Bromley on Tuesday night (July 12).