Charlton caretaker Anthony Hayes says the EFL Cup penalty shootout win over Premier League Brighton must be used as a springboard to improve their League One form.
New Addicks manager Dean Holden watched on from the stands as the South Londoners battled to a goalless draw with their top tier hosts during 90 minutes.
A chaotic spot-kick competition then commenced, with both sides missing three of their original five. Solly March missed when given the chance to send the Seagulls through, before Ashley Maynard-Brewer denied Moisés Caicedo during sudden death.
Sam Lavelle struck the decisive penalty home as the Addicks reached the quarter-finals of the EFL for the first time since 2006.
“It’s a special night,” said Hayes, who will now return to his first-team coaching role alongside Holden.
“A special performance. We needed a bit of luck, rode our luck at times against a high calibre Premier League side. I’ve got so much admiration for how they play the game. We needed to suffer a lot without the ball. To stay in a solid shape. It would have been nice to have carried a little bit more of a threat in the second half but when you’re against that calibre of opposition it’s difficult.
“It’s a special night. Delighted that we’re able to swing the mood and send the fans home happy, particularly this side of Christmas.
“It gives everyone a lift. It’s one that the fans, the players, the staff, we won’t forget. We’ve got a quarter final tie to look forward to. But we have to use this as a springboard going into our league campaign.
“I thought how we defended back to front all night was outstanding. You need a bit of luck but we showed some resolve, grit and character in the moments they really started to get ion top in the game. I thought the least we deserved was a penalty shootout.
“The fans respond to those effort levels. I said at the end: ‘That’s the minimum requirement when you wear this badge. The quality has to improve but if we have that as a base, not many teams will beat this.”
PHOTOS: KEITH GILLARD
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