The signs that show Jed Steer is expecting Charlton stay and not an Aston Villa recall in January

BY RICHARD CAWLEY
richard.cawley@slp.co.uk

Jed Steer is not talking like a man who could be about to cut short his Charlton Athletic loan – with the goalkeeper more intent on firing up the South London club’s automatic promotion hopes.

Aston Villa have the option to recall the 26-year-old in the January transfer window. But the shotstopper is unable to play for a third English club this season after starting for the Midlands outfit in their Championship opener at Hull City.

It means that Steer either goes back into the mix for Villa or stays playing for Lee Bowyer’s side, who have cranked up their League One top-two aspirations with six victories in seven matches.

“I’ve said all along I just want to keep playing football – I’ve loved it down here,” said Steer. “I think if Villa have a recall option it is for the first couple of weeks in January. I’ve not heard anything.

“Charlton have spoken to them and are waiting to find out what is going on. I’ve kept my head down. I’ve been concentrating on trying to play well and help the team keep winning.

Charlton Athletic v AFC Wimbledon, SkyBet League 1 , The Valley, 15 December 2018.
Photograph by Keith Gillard

“I’d not played a lot of football leading up to the loan, so I knew it would take me a few games to really get in to it and get rid of a little bit of rustiness. I’ve had a great time so far and I really want to kick on now, get us going and back to where we should be – finish off what we started.

“We’re building momentum and we’re confident we can get those points to get automatic.

“We’ll keep chasing. We’ve got some big games coming up now – Barnsley, Coventry, Walsall and Sunderland. If we can get good results it should put us even closer to the top two.”

Steer’s distribution has been key to Bowyer’s passing game. His confidence with the ball at his feet was important on Saturday, with Charlton needing to keep possession after Naby Sarr’s ultra-quick sending off.

“As a young kid at Norwich I’d go out in the afternoon and work on my kicking,” he said. “All the keepers here and Andy Marshall [goalkeeping coach] go out before everyone else and get a good half-hour or 45 minutes on crossing and distribution.

“There is an emphasis on that because of how the manager wants to play.”
Steer usually gets the right trajectory when he has to go longer to Lyle Taylor – who prefers to bring the ball down on his chest.

“Lyle likes to pin the centre-half,” said Steer. “We try and get runners around him for him to lay off to.

“In League One you have a lot of dominant centre-halves who love heading footballs. If I do have to go longer then I try to give Lyle something to work with – there’s no point just shelling it up there.

“The gaffer wants to play football but we’ve shown in the last few weeks we can do both sides of it. We can play, but at Portsmouth the other week we did the horrible side of the game – defend, be gritty and get a result.
“We knew it was going to be physical. We’d watched them leading up to the game. They bombarded us with balls into the box but I never felt as if they were actually threatening us. I know they did score in the end, but it didn’t come from a high ball into the box.

“The whole back four and Krystian [Bielik] sitting in front of them were brilliant. They dealt with all that came into the box. With the amount of pressure we were under in the second half, to win it was fantastic – especially away from home at the top of the table.

“The most important thing was to follow that up with three points on Saturday against Wimbledon and thankfully we did.

“We had to make sure we kept the ball really well after the sending off – not going long – and even before they had their man [Mitch Pinnock] sent off we felt like it was a matter of time before we scored.

“Getting that first goal meant they had to come out a bit and we finished them off.

“I’ve never been in a game before where one of our players has been sent off in the first minute. It was a big plus when the numbers were equalled up – it felt like they were there for the taking.”

Steer was one of the Charlton players to recently visit Greenwich Foodbank.

The club will be collecting non-perishables in the West Stand car park tomorrow, from noon until the 3pm kick off against Gillingham.
Tins of meat, fish, carrots pasta sauce and rice pudding – along with instant potato – are some of the items most wanted.

Steer said: “They were telling us they were expecting around 9,000 people to use them. So any bit of help in terms of food. They made the point they have got a whole cupboard of baked beans! Any non-perishables will be gratefully received.

“The foodbank was so well-organised, everyone is pulling in the same direction. I stacked some boxes and dated a lot of the food. I had a good afternoon there.”

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