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Charlton Athletic boss Jose Riga confident of beating drop

26 April 2014

Charlton Athletic manager Jose Riga is confident his players will dodge relegation from the Sky Bet Championship despite falling to a 3-1 home loss to Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.

The Addicks are only two points above the drop zone and must travel to fellow-strugglers Blackpool on the final day.

However, they also have a game in hand over all but one of the teams fighting to beat the drop, and victory at home to Watford on Tuesday will confirm another season of second-tier football.

"I hope we will do the job in the next game and not wait for the next one, but the most important thing in our situation is to do what we have to do," Riga said.

"I know my team now. What gives me confidence is what they have done in the past."

Goals from Rudy Gestede, Michael Keane and Tom Cairney inflicted a 21st defeat of the season on the home side, who saw Marvin Sordell score their consolation.

Sordell, who had scored a hat-trick at Sheffield Wednesday in Charlton's previous game, also missed a penalty, however, when Rovers were 1-0 up.

Captain Johnnie Jackson is Charlton's usual penalty taker but Riga made it clear he was not angry with Sordell for grabbing the ball after he had been fouled by Grant Hanley.

"It was defined before the game on what had happened in the past - Jacko took the penalties - but we knew that at this moment Marvin was feeling good," said the Addicks manager.

"It is more about the story of the play on the pitch because, from outside, if you don't say yes, you say no and the player who doesn't get the penalty is then not in a good mood.

"If we had scored everyone would be happy. Marvin wanted to score for the team and it is a lesson a player has to learn."

The win keeps alive Blackburn's slim hopes of making the Play-Offs, but they know they will need to win comprehensively at home to Wigan Athletic on the final day and a series of other results to go their way as well for that to happen.

"We have known that for a couple of games now, but all we have done is concentrated on improving our performances and challenging the players to get better - and they have done that every game," said manager Gary Bowyer.

"It was the second to last game of last season that we stayed up. A year later we have half a chance of the play-offs, so we have made a bit of progress.

"It has been a fantastic effort from everybody involved. A hell of a lot of hard work has gone into it and we have got to make sure we continue that. Then we have an important summer because the club as a whole has quite a bit to do still."

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