April 13, 2024

Michael Hector, a Charlton defender, wants to stay at The Valley beyond the current season.

The 31-year-old’s contract will expire at the end of the current campaign. He initially joined the team on a short-term contract midway through last season before agreeing to stay the following summer.

And the center-back wants to stay in SE7 once more.

“Yes,” he said when asked if he wanted to stay in The Valley.

“I stated that earlier this season. Nothing has changed since I previously signed up here, and my family is from London.

“No [he has not addressed it with Nathan Jones yet]. We simply want to finish as strong as possible; that is all I can do. We just need to focus on each game. When the time comes, we will talk about it.”

The Jamaican international played his first 90 minutes since January in Good Friday’s 1-1 draw with Exeter City.

Hector had yet to start a game under new manager Nathan Jones because he needed to wait for an opportunity to return to the squad after suffering a hamstring injury. That injury sidelined him for six and a half weeks, with his return coming off the bench against Northampton at the beginning of March. His original diagnosis indicated a 10-week absence.

“It’s great for me,” he said.

“I want to play each week. I joined up to play here. It’s frustrating not to make the team. I understand that the squad is performing well. I spoke with the manager, and we had conversations. It is all positive. I really want to get out there and play week after week.

“That is an integral component of football. This is my first injury. It’s frustrating. I just completed my treatment. Came back faster than planned, which is a plus. I feel good and strong. Hopefully, my performances will improve till the end of the season.

Dean Holden rotated Hector in and out of the side at the start of the year. Michael Appleton quickly made the former Fulham player first choice, although the early part of the season was marred by two huge errors that resulted in goals at home to Port Vale and Blackpool.

Hector understood he needed to move on from those events as soon as possible.

He explained: “I’ve been in the game long enough to know that as a centre-back, if you make a mistake, it usually results in a chance or a goal. Apart from the goalkeeper, the centre-back is perhaps the second most important; if you make a mistake, it will cost the team.


Michael Hector: Charlton Athletic defender extends contract - BBC Sport


“Dumb things happen. Fortunately, that doesn’t happen very often in my career, but it happened twice in a row at the beginning of this season. I’m the most critical of my own performances, so I know what kind of player I am and what I’m capable of. It was a little frustrating at the beginning of the season, but I’ve improved slightly. There’s much more from me to come.

“I’m not going to try and hide it; it’s been terrible [for the team this season]. A month ago, we were in a relegation battle. We’ve distanced ourselves from it, but for a club the size of Charlton, we should be aiming for promotion.

“That was everyone’s aim when the season started. It’s disappointing, but it’s to be expected in football. The essential thing is to take it one game at a time till the end of the season and finish as high as possible.”

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