Karl Robinson has moved to explain his downbeat mood at the end of last season – rubbishing rumours he could be set to walk away from Charlton Athletic.
The bubbly Scouser was low-key as the Addicks finished their League One campaign on April 30 with a 3-0 victory over Swindon Town. Thirteen points from a possible 15 saw the club finish 13th in the final standings.
“At no stage do I have a divine right to say I will be at any football club,” said Robinson.
“It’s not my club. I have to sit down and make sure it is in great shape going forward.
“I’m so desperate to be here, everyone knows that. I was disappointed because we have taken 13 points out of our last 15 – I didn’t really want the season to end.
“People were starting to understand what was expected to play for our club.
“When I came in there had been managers who had come and gone. People would come in and start well, have a bit of trouble and disciplinarian stuff, then results would go bad and the next one would come in.
“I want people who work hard. I won’t take any excuses.
“I’m not going to give people an easy ride. You don’t get an easy ride at the top.
“You don’t wake up and just go ‘that will do today’ or ‘that will do’ and be successful. It’s an impossible mindset to have. It is about people willing to come in and push themselves to their limits, things they didn’t think they could do.
“The body and mind are the most incredible things on this planet. I don’t think we push them enough.
“I felt we left too much in the tank and had a lot more to give.
“The mindset of the team was brilliant in the last month. They started to understand each other and what it takes to play for Charlton and they also saw the fans’ response when they gave that effort.”
Robinson will soon have fresh faces in his squad – that is just the players who have been away on loan in the past campaign.
Forward Igor Vetokele, 25, split it between Waregem and Sint-Truiden – netting six times in 26 games – while former Tottenham man Cristian Ceballos, 24, had a season-long stay at the latter.
“What I want to do is speak to all the players who have been away,” said Robinson. “I want to know why they have been away, what their situation is.
“If we can we will look at them. What is important is making the right decision for Charlton Athletic. For as long as they have been making decisions here it has been to abide by other peoples’ rules and their games. It has got to be for the best by our club and fans.
“People probably feel they have a bit of success and we owe it to them – but people have got to dance to our tune. That they are not above rules. The biggest aspects of our recruitment is work ethic and desire.
“The training ground is looking absolutely phenomenal.
“I was speaking to the groundsman and he has said in all his years being there he had never seen what is happening at Charlton this summer.
“Paul Geary has been there a long time and I want to say thank you to the groundstaff at The Valley and the training ground.
“If we get the right weather and great growth then it will be the best it has ever been.
“I’m bringing people to the training ground to show what we’re doing – not just in words.”