Belfast Telegraph

Josh Magennis: Charlton move will make me a better player

By Steven Beacom

Northern Ireland striker Josh Magennis is confident that his summer switch from Scottish Premiership side Kilmarnock to English League One outfit Charlton Athletic will improve him as a player.

Magennis believes he is now performing at a higher standard of football and while many fans in Scotland would disagree with that, the 26-year-old is certain that his transfer will work to his advantage.

He is relishing wearing the No.9 shirt for Charlton and playing under manager Russell Slade at the London club.

"Charlton is a fantastic club," said Magennis.

"The transition I've made has been good - it was an important move for me because not only am I playing at a better standard but the players I'm playing with are high quality, especially in my own team.

"Then I have a manager who expects a lot of me. I like that. The more pressure on me and the more demands on me, the harder I need to work to prove my worth.

"I need to make sure the manager's decision to put me in the team is valid - so it's been a good start. It's brilliant to be playing in a winning team and also be given the No.9 shirt and long may it continue."

Continuing the theme about League One being a step up from Scotland's top-flight, Magennis added: "Celtic are obviously the top team in the Scottish Premiership, Rangers are in there now, Aberdeen have earned the right to challenge at the top, Hearts are there while St Johnstone are hard to beat, but I think the overall standard of League One is higher than the Scottish Premiership.

"It's a lot more physical but you also have the technical side. It's one of the reasons why I left Kilmarnock - I want to push on with my career."

Magennis came off the bench to replace Kyle Lafferty in the second half of Sunday's 0-0 World Cup qualifying draw in the Czech Republic.

He was close to breaking the deadlock for Northern Ireland, almost connecting with an inviting Stuart Dallas delivery.

"I think the gaffer (Michael O'Neill) would like us to be more clinical in front of goal," said Magennis.

"We have proven we can be but against the Czechs, it just didn't work out for us. If we are not scoring goals then it's important we keep a clean sheet."

With Lafferty rarely playing for Norwich, there is every chance O'Neill may select a fit and firing Magennis for next month's World Cup clash at home to San Marino.

"I'm chomping at the bit to get back to Windsor, especially after the exploits of the summer in the Euro finals," said Magennis.

"Shirt sales have gone really well back home and fans have been booking their tickets for all the home games. That's fantastic because without the fans we are not a formidable force.

"They are our 12th man and they make opposition teams nervous. Windsor is a tough place to come to for opposition teams and we've managed to make it a fortress. We must do that again in this campaign."

Belfast Telegraph


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