Date: 31st July 2017 at 10:31am
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Charlton Athletic winger Ricky Holmes has been speaking about the interest in him this summer from Sheffield United.

With a number of bids in for the player apparently over the last month or so, Holmes has hailed the way the side have clicked over pre season and he’s confident that everybody in the camp is presenting a united front when it comes to a push at League One promotion this year.

Having scored a brace in our six one defeat of Ipswich Town, the 30 year old told London News Online that with their interest known, he was obviously considering it given they were offering Championship football, but having played his best football with us last term, he feels we can achieve that ourselves so he had no reason to want a move this summer.

He has now signed a contract extension keeping him with us until 2020.

‘I looked at it because you always have to. I was getting offered Championship football, but I was happy. The best football I`ve played was last season at Charlton. I knew everything would work out in the end. I wasn`t trying to leave. Fair play to Charlton, they rewarded me. The owners and Katrien Meire are pushing in the same direction as us players. It feels around the place that we are all united – together.’

Holmes went on to credit the signings that manager Karl Robinson and the club have made so far this summer.

‘The signings made are class. Billy Clarke plays the way you want to play. Marshy (Mark Marshall) is brilliant. I played with him at Barnet. He is probably the best winger in the league on his day – one-versus-one and getting at people. He`s got an injury but is going to be like another signing in October when he comes back fresh.’

Adding.

‘With Tariqe Fosu you`ve seen what he can do – tear defenders apart. Ahmed Kashi is like a new signing because he hasn`t played for 18 months. He`ll be the best number six in the league. When I signed last summer it seemed to be a bit here and there, a bit iffy. They were coming off relegation, so confidence was a bit low in the players – that happens in football. We managed to get a winning mentality at the back end of last season. The only game we`ve lost is to Norwich, who are going to be in and around the play-offs in the Championships.’

With 38 appearances to his name in 2016/17 and a return of 13 goals as he lifted our Player of the Season, he obviously wanted to try and better that this term but he hasn’t set himself any strict targets.

‘I don`t set targets. I suppose I do, I always like to get double figures in the goals and chip in with assists. The gaffer lets us play with freedom – that`s why he has signed us little ones to play in behind Josh Magennis, Noves (Lee Novak) or Tony Watt. We work best off that freedom. Hopefully we can excite the fans and get goals.’

He also had belief in Magennis hitting the 20 goal mark this year and then potentially going further next season such was confidence in the camp at the moment.

‘He scored two on Saturday and could have had a hat-trick but laid it on for Jake Forster-Caskey. Why can`t he get 20? He got 10 last season in a team that struggled. If we`re successful and play like we did on Saturday he can easily double that.’

Certainly the kind of optimism you want ahead of a new campaign and more performances akin to Ipswich Town will certainly get the club much of the way there.

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