By Jonathan Harries
Jon quizzed Addicks fan Tyler Rowlinson in what we think is a very good article here at The MKDSA Media Team.
Are you content with Charlton’s start to the season?
If you’d have asked me this questions a couple weeks ago I would have said absolutely not! But somehow we’ve managed to pull ourselves back into the mix for the playoffs. It had been a frustrating start, after we smashed Plymouth 5-1 at The Valley we went on an eight game winless run before we grabbed a victory over Exeter.
But since then we’ve looked a lot better, three wins on the spin and brilliant performances in all of them, still unbeaten at home this season and we find ourselves 7th. Obviously there are a lot of teams with games in hand around us but we’ve got to be happy with the way things are going right now.
Are you happy with what you have seen so far under Ben Garner or did you expect more?
It has taken some time for Garner to find his feet and get results on the board this season but I’ve liked what I’ve seen from him. He comes across as very likeable and knows what he’s talking about and the attacking philosophy that he believes in is a breath of fresh air that Charlton needed after the disaster of last season. He’s a young manager that’s got bags of potential and he’s got this team performing at the moment so long may that continue.
Which players do you expect to cause problems for the Dons on Tuesday?
Defensively we’ve looked a lot stronger in recent games, with two clean sheets on the bounce and that’s mainly down to our centre back pairing of Eoghan O’Connell and Ryan Inniss. Both have been brick walls at the back lately, and with you being the third lowest scoring team in the league, you’ll be finding it hard to get past them!
Our two in the middle, George Dobson and Scott Fraser, have been rock solid in the new system and command that midfield and our wingers Jesurun Rak-Sakyi and, if fit, Corey Blackett-Taylor will cause you problems with their pace and how they love to take on players and be direct.
Are you happy with Charlton’s transfer activity from the summer and which signings have impressed you the most so far?
With our transfer window, we did well with the players we signed, but we didn’t do enough. The eight players we did add, so far most of them have impressed and added something to this team.
As I alluded to, O’Connell and Rak-Sakyi have been immense this season, Mandela Egbo has impressed after returning from injury in pre-season, Joe Wollacott has proved to be an upgrade in between the sticks, Steven Sessegnon’s been decent at left back and Jack Payne adds that extra creative spark in midfield. But we failed to bring in a striker that we badly needed. We look very light up top and we’re prone to injury, proven by our top scorer Miles Leaburn being out at the moment. Overall, we signed well considering we didn’t spend a penny but it wasn’t enough.
Who or What made you support Charlton?
My Dad… unfortunately! I didn’t have much choice in the matter really and to be fair I don’t really know who I’d support if I had the chance to choose. I wouldn’t have it any other way though, we’re a proper club with a great history, just a shame there’s been more lows than highs in recent years.
What style of play can we expect to see from Charlton on Tuesday?
We’ve experimented with a few different styles and formations this season. It was a 4-4-3 and occasionally a 5-3-2 or 3-5-2 (however you want to call it) but now we’ve settled with the simple Brexit 4-4-2 and it’s working a treat. We’re getting the best out of the players and we’re playing some good attacking football. I would keep an eye on our wide areas. Our full backs and wingers love to overlap and link up well, cut inside and take shots. Through the middle we’ve dominated in this system as well, Garner has definitely struck gold with it.
If you could have any Dons player, who would it be?
I’m not really spoiled for choice here with you being bottom! But I would probably say Will Grigg. We’ve been linked with him in a few transfer windows now and, although his time at Sunderland was a shambles, he’s been a proven scorer at every other club he’s been at. We do need a striker here at Charlton so I would say him.
What is your most memorable moment following the Addicks?
The Playoff Semi-Final second leg against Doncaster at The Valley in 2018/19 under Lee Bowyer. That is the best game I’ve ever seen live and it’s going to take some beating! It had all the emotions; leading 2-1 going into the game, scoring in the first two minutes, then conceding late to take it to extra time, then going behind and equalising immediately after, then winning on penalties.
It was absolutely incredible. Seeing that stadium completely packed out and standing on the centre circle afterwards and soaking up the atmosphere, it’s something I will never forget. That team that season is the best I’ve seen as a supporter and to get promoted in the dying seconds against Sunderland at Wembley just topped off an unbelievable season.
Which Charlton games are you most look forward to this season?
Obviously there’s the big games you look at like Ipswich, Derby, Sheffield Wednesday, but I’m just looking forward to them all and going to watch the boys at home and across the country.
The Dons have had a poor start to the season considering the highs that were achieved last season, where do you think the Dons will finish in League One this year?
I’ll be stunned if you’re where you are come the end of the season. It’s been a shocking start to the year and not one I expected. You lost big players in the summer like Twine and Darling but I was not expecting those departures to have as much of an effect as it has had.
I don’t know what the future is for Liam Manning, but whether he is sacked or not and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is, I don’t think you’ll go down. I think you’ll recover slightly for maybe a lower mid-table finish but I think you can kiss repeating last season’s success goodbye.
Thank you for participating, it really helps us get a stronger understanding of the opposition!
Finally, what do you think the score will be?
With us being unbeaten at home this season and you guys rock bottom, I find it hard not to back us here, although this is the kind of game that we go and lose! I’m sure you’ll put up a fight as you’ll be looking to end your rot, but I’m going with us to run away 2-0 winners.
Thanks for asking me to do this and I wish MK Dons the best for the rest of the season!