Pards pleased to see Ben back
By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Alan Pardew has welcomed Ben Thatcher's imminent return to fitness at Charlton.
Alan Pardew has welcomed Ben Thatcher's imminent return to fitness, with the Charlton boss admitting he needs the defender's 'no-nonsense' attitude if he is to pull the club out of the relegation zone.
Thatcher has been out of action since 24th February due to a knee complaint, but he is now expected to feature against Manchester City - the team he left to move to The Valley in January - on Good Friday.
A win for The Addicks would see them escape the bottom three for the first time since September, and Pardew hopes Thatcher's return can help invigorate his team.
"Ben will not need any more stimulation than to go back to his old club and play well. That is the sort of environment Ben likes," said Pardew.
"One of the advantages I had when I entered this club was the opening of the transfer window. It was an opportunity I had missed at West Ham because you can change the face of a club by signing one player.
"I am not saying Ben Thatcher has done that - but he has certainly added to the club and helped us make the changes we needed to make.
"We needed a more positive approach and he signed because he thought we were going to stay up, so that sent the right message.
"Ben is a strong character and a no-nonsense type of player - they are exactly the attributes you need if you are going to be safe from relegation.
"In the last two games, missing him has made a difference to us."