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Home   Kent   Sport   Article

Charlton Athletic midfielder Dale Stephens writes for the KM Group

23 January 2014

Dale Stephens. Picture Keith Gillard

Dale Stephens. Picture: Keith Gillard

It was great to bounce back from Saturday’s defeat at Middlesbrough with a good midweek win over Oxford United.

The lads knew that the first game against Oxford in the FA Cup had obviously not been good enough, and although I wasn’t involved in the draw at The Valley, it was nice to set the record straight in the replay and get through to the fourth round.

Everyone talks about the league being the priority and, of course, for us now it has to be. However, a good cup run can galvanise a team and get some positive momentum going so we take that to our fourth round tie at Huddersfield Town on Saturday.

If we can win that, then all of a sudden we are in the fifth round and have a chance of meeting one of the bigger teams in the competition which I know everyone at the club would like.

It’s amazing the amount of times we’ve played Huddersfield in recent months, the place has become a bit of a second home to the players and hopefully it will be a case of third time lucky against them this season.

After Huddersfield, we have a run of big games against some difficult teams with Doncaster Rovers on the Tuesday night particularly big.

We certainly need to avoid defeat there because a win would take them above us in the table and drop us into the relegation places.

We are confident that the results will come, and that we will get out of trouble, but we have to start turning that belief into points, because at the end of the day that’s all that matters.

If we play like we did in the second- half against Middlesbrough then we have every chance of getting a result.

In truth we should have taken something from the Riverside, Simon Church had a goal disallowed and we missed some really good chances towards the end.

It was difficult to forget my opportunity on the trip home from the north-east.

With almost the last touch of the game the ball fell to me into the box and I made great contact, unfortunately it hit Shay Given and stuck to him and Boro grabbed all three points.

The next five are undoubtedly going to be tough with trips to Wigan and Leeds and a visit from QPR, but we have to dig in a show what we can do.

We have great character and belief in the squad and we know that we are capable of more than we are showing.

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