Date: 27th June 2016 at 5:01pm
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New manager Russell Slade has said that Charlton Athletic faces a very important pre season ahead of life in League One during 2016/17.

With relegation last season and plenty of off pitch issues for fans to concern themselves with, Slade’s appointment and the quick moves in the transfer market so far have given some a bit of hope and optimism back, and Slade knows it’s vital Charlton hit the ground running.

Speaking to the Official Site with the players almost set for their pre season return, the new gaffer explained.

‘The start of the season is massive for us. We are looking forward to that and to pre-season, too. That is so important – those six weeks that you have together in terms of bonding, getting to know each other, organising each other and everything we do. It is the longest time that we`ll spend together as a group and within that we have got a week away in Austria, which will be ideal – particularly for the new players. I`m looking forward to meeting everyone on that first day and getting stuck in to what will hopefully be a new era for the players. All of the players should see pre-season as an opportunity and a challenge but one that they should embrace.’

With the fixtures being released an knowing that we face Millwall in October and January, Slade joked he certainly got questioned about those two matches, so he understands what they mean to the fans.

‘I was filled in about that at my first press conference! Local derbies are great for supporters and are really, really good for players to play in as well. You have to stay in control in those types of games and they are great games to be a part of. That is what it is all about, and all of us wanting to turn up to work on a Monday morning with a smile on our faces. That`s what we`ll be looking to do – win those two games – but also the other 44 as well.’

With Sparrows Lane getting a face lift during the summer, Slade said it was one of many little things the club are doing to try refresh things and draw a line under the recent past.

And he was of course grateful for all the hard work that had gone in by club staff since his arrival.

‘There are a lot of little things that we are trying to do. We are trying to make it a better environment and perhaps a little bit more professional in the things that we are trying to do. They will take time and that is what I have found here so far; there is nothing majorly wrong with the club on the footballing side, it`s just the little things that have been let go and we need to grab them back. They add up and it`s fine margins in football, as everyone will know, and we are trying to deal with one or two of those. The support has been fantastic all over the club. People have been running around trying to get things done in time, which is great.’

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