Maja Contingency Plan


Jack Ross is still hopeful that Josh Maja will sign his new deal, but if he doesn’t, he will deal with the consequences. He explained: "I didn't set the deadline, the club set the deadline - I don't have the authority to do that. The club has set a timeline on what they believe is a final and fair offer. As I said at the weekend, should that pass - which would probably be at the close of play Friday - then nothing really changes for me or for Josh, other than perhaps people's perception of the situation. The relationship between me and Josh is really good, he is in good form, and as long as he is here, I will continue to use him. So it's incidental to me, but I do understand why for others it is of the highest importance. But I have stressed to the club that there needs to be a plan in place [if he leaves], and there is a plan in place. We've done remarkably well to get to where we are with a real lack of out-and-out strikers at times. The job Josh has done has been remarkable, helped by the contributions of Aiden [McGeady], Chris [Maguire], and Lynden [Gooch], have been excellent. The reality is that now having Charlie [Wyke], who is an out-and-out striker, and Duncan [Watmore], who is more like Lynden or Aiden or Chris, back is that we don't want to deplete that again by losing a player who has contributed so much. We have to have a plan in place should he go, but not just for him but also for other areas of the squad as well. If we do any business in January, I would want it to be to supplement what we have, not to replace any players. At the moment there are no other factors that mean we have a decision to make as a club. That could change as the month goes on, of course, but at the moment there are no offers, no concrete interest, nothing like that. I get why that is - he is out of contract at the end of the season, so I understand that any interested parties will be thinking that they can keep their powder dry, but the counterbalance to that is they run the risk of missing out on a good young player. I still remain hopeful that he will stay at the club, and I still think that may be the case, but I can understand why a lot of people think it is done and dusted either way. The interesting thing will be that, as tomorrow comes and goes, how everybody deals with it. I'll be as protective of him as I can be because he has been very good for us this season."

Ross also gave a fitness updates on Adam Matthews, Ethan Robson and Denver Hume. Basically, none are available for Charlton and neither is George Honeyman, but thankfully Bryan Oviedo and Duncan Watmore will travel with the squad to The Valley. "Adam has had some issues with his calf throughout the season and to his credit, it's never really forced him to miss anything," Ross said. "To his credit as well, he's been out [training] believing he's OK, desperate to be involved, but he's not quite being right. I'm hopeful that he'll be back training at the beginning of the next week. I'm conscious that we don't want to lose him for a longer period. It's obviously frustrating for him because he was obviously in good form. Denver is probably another three four or weeks away. Ethan Robson was actually back training but picked up another niggle, it's been a hugely frustrating time for him. His ankle is fine, it's a small groin problem. He'll hopefully be back training at the start of next week. It's frustrating for him to have had these injuries and particularly when you look at us going into the game on Saturday, we've got limited options in that area of the pitch. It'll be nice to have him available but he's been out for a while so he'll have to get himself up to match fitness when he is back."


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