Josh Cullen: Charlton Athletic reached Wembley the hard way


Josh Cullen admits Charlton Athletic reached Wembley the hard way – but couldn’t care less about the manner in which it was achieved.

The on-loan West Ham midfielder has played at the national stadium before, part of the Bradford City side beaten by Millwall.

Charlton’s 4-3 penalty shootout win over Doncaster Rovers on Friday night ensured they face Sunderland at Wembley on Sunday – their first visit since 1998 – with Championship promotion at stake.

Lee Bowyer’s side were leading 2-1 from the first leg against Doncaster but were trailing 2-1 at full-time to take the contest into an additional 30 minutes.

Jon Marquis then put the visitors 3-1 ahead, with Darren Pratley quickly reducing the deficit to set up a spot-kick decider.

“We didn’t do it the easy way,” admitted Cullen, who is set to return to the London Stadium at the end of the season.

“We did it the hard way but we’re there and that’s all that matters. 

“If you’d said to us at the start of the night that we’d win on penalties and go through we would have said: ‘Yup, we’ll take that.’ It wasn’t our best performance, it wasn’t pretty. But we’re there and you’ve got to be in it to win it.

“We never thought the semi-final was done and dusted, because we know they are a good team. We were 2-0 up at their place the other week and they came on strong. 

“They showed their quality with the goals they scored. Credit to them for the part they played in a great tie for the neutral.

“Sunderland are a good side and they’ve got the quality to beat you. I expect it to be a tough game but we’ll be more than ready to perform.”

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