Ben Garner reckons that Charlton Athletic would have been “six to eight points better off” if Chuks Aneke had been fit all season.
The striker had not featured in the campaign before tonight’s 4-2 victory over Exeter City due to a calf problem.
Aneke had only been on the pitch for two minutes when he finished from close range after George Dobson’s shot was only partially blocked to put the Addicks 3-1 ahead.
“You can see what we’ve been missing,” said Garner. “We were just saying as staff that we’d probably be six to eight points better off if he had been available.
“Coming on for 10 or 15 minutes and doing what he’s just done would make a huge difference.
“I’m really pleased to have him back. You’ve seen what quality he gives us. Also Corey Blackett-Taylor, Payney [Jack Payne], Albie Morgan and Sean Clare were brilliant today. They picked up the pace of the game so well and gave us energy and quality.”
Charlton halted an eight-game run without a victory in League One.
“Long time coming – huge credit to the players,” said Garner.
“It sounds silly saying it’s been a difficult run because we are not losing games on the bounce, or anything like that, we’ve been pretty much difficult to beat but just haven’t picked up as many wins as we’d have liked.
“The players showed a little bit of everything tonight – some great bravery, some really good attacking play, some wonderful goals and good defensive resilience. Apart from the wonder goal first half, and then the official obviously got bored at the end and wanted a bit of excitement to give the penalty that was never a penalty, we were defensively very good again
“We had a little bit of fortune as well in the first half. I don’t know if it was Jayden who flicked or it went straight in off the defender. Chuks, in off the post, those things haven’t been going for us – they have been hitting the post and coming out. We created good opportunities.
“The impact of the subs was really, really good. A good all-round group performance.”
PICTURE: KEITH GILLARD
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