Promotion to The Championship was vital for Charlton for player retention according to Darren Pratley.

Their dramatic 2-1 victory over Sunderland eased fans fears that another season in League One would see a squad dissipate with as many as 14 players possibly leaving in the summer.

The midfielder, 34, echoed those sentiments, citing the increased possibility of keeping Joe Aribo now that second-tier football is assured.

“I think we needed to get promoted to keep hold of some of the better players and the manager,” said Pratley, 34.

“This can only help him (Aribo), playing in The Championship, with a manager knowing he’s going to play every week, it can only be good for us.

“But the boy has a lot of quality so he’ll have a lot of teams looking at him, and if he leaves he’s got us in The Championship and we wish him well.

“The boys that have got us to The Championship, if they want to move and go on and play for other clubs then fair enough, obviously we want them to stay, but we’ll see what happens.”

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Championship Ambitions

Charlton return to the second tier for the first time since 2016, and Pratley, with 250 games’ experience in the division after spells with Swansea and Bolton, believes it’s a league they can challenge in.

“We’ll have to sit down and discuss the aim, but first n foremost we’ll have to stay in the league before we start thinking about promotion.

“It’ll take a good couple of weeks to sink in, it’s a massive achievement, we needed to do it.

“But to be fair, the way we play it’ll suit us much more.

“League One is 100 miles per hour.

“The Championship does have better players, a lot better but it’ll suit us.”