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On-loan Wigan winger “hates” role he has been asked to perform in...

On-loan Wigan winger “hates” role he has been asked to perform in for Charlton Athletic

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Charlton Athletic v Gillingham, SkyBet League 1 , The Valley, 17 April 2017. Image by Keith Gillard

Nathan Byrne has echoed manager Karl Robinson’s claims that he is a reluctant right-back for Charlton.

The 24-year-old Wigan winger joined the Addicks on loan in early January but has not been able feature is his preferred position due to injuries and suspension to Chris Solly.

And Byrne was on the right of the Charlton defence as they kept their first clean sheet since January 14 in a 3-0 victory over Gillingham on Easter Monday.

The match moved him into double figures for appearances since linking up with the South Londoners.

“Nathan doesn’t want to play right-back – he hates it,” said Charlton boss Karl Robinson. “When I tell him he’s playing there he does what he has to do for the team.

“For a loan player to play out of position is important. It is the type you want in a club.”

Byrne added: “Before I signed here I spoke to the assistant Richie [Barker] and said I’d love to come – as long as I’m not playing right-back.

“Sols got a red card and I had to fill in for three games and then he got injured and I was in for another four or five. I’ve spent a lot of my time there.

“The worst part is one-v-one defending – when someone is doing what you like to do to them. When you turn that around and they are running at you, it’s not very enjoyable.

“But I’m happy I’m playing. That’s the main thing. It has been a frustrating couple of years for me personally, getting on the pitch is a good feeling.”

Byrne is due to head back to Wigan at the end of this month and the Latics look almost certain to be a League One club next season.

He feels the future is bright for Charlton, whether he is still in their ranks or back at a club who will be one of the promotion favourites.

“I love this club and I’m enjoying my time here. I’m just focused on the last two games and then will see what happens.

“I knew the talent in the dressing room when I came in. As a team we have really under-achieved this season.

“A pre-season with the manager will really help because he will really nail down what he wants to do and the players he really wants. I’m certain that Charlton will be up there next year.

“The focus is on building for next year and really having a go for it.

“All the boys know there have been games where we haven’t turned up or performed to our full capabilities. That’s disappointing for us and frustrating for the fans as well.”

Sports Editor | South London Press sports editor since 2007 who has covered huge sporting events for the paper – Crystal Palace’s Championship play-off final, two trips to Wembley in the FA Cup and David Haye’s world heavyweight unification fight with Wladimir Klitschko. Previously sub-edited on the Sunday Mirror, Daily Star and Sport First. Former ClubCall deputy editor.

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On-loan Wigan winger “hates” role he has been asked to perform in...