Johnnie Jackson has given his verdict on Charlton Athletic’s 1-0 loss to Wycombe Wanderers at The Valley – as the South London club’s three-game winning streak in League One at The Valley was ended by Sam Vokes’ first-half goal.
The experienced striker converted from close range after Garath McCleary drove past George Dobson near the byline and sent in an accurate low cross.
Charlton huffed and puffed without Jayden Stockley, missing due to a minor hip niggle.
“I’m disappointed – I didn’t feel there was a lot in the game at all,” said Addicks manager Jackson.
“In the second half we were probably the team in the ascendency but they have got a lead to cling to, that makes it difficult.
“For the majority of the match we stood up to their threats, which they have got a lot of, but we just came unstuck in that little moment before half-time. A little bit of quality from McCleary makes the difference and they get a goal when there is nothing in the game.
“They are clever at defending a lead, they do it well. They use their experience – they are a group who have been together a long time now. You have to find ways to break them down and we didn’t do enough in those moments we did create.
“It’s about that individual quality of the cross, the shot or your runs. You want to give your creative players license there to come alive and show a bit of magic to win us the game – we didn’t manage to create that today.
“We were knocking on the door in the second half. I thought we’d go and get one but every time we did build some momentum they managed to put a stop to that.”
Josh Davison struggled to make an impact in the opening 45 minutes and was replaced by Jonathan Leko. The latter saw an effort come back off the left upright from an Alex Gilbey cross.
“Leko was bright when he came on, we know what he can do,” said Jackson. “It’s a difficult one with him – he has only trained once and been out for a while with Covid.
“It [the change] wasn’t necessarily a pre-planned thing but you have to be able to adjust to what you see on the pitch. I thought it was the right change to make at half-time and definitely thought we improved in the second half but clearly didn’t do enough to get back in it.”
Asked about Davison’s display, Jackson replied: “It’s difficult when you haven’t been playing and then come straight in. Conor and Jayden have formed a great partnership up there. It’s been a bit of a bedrock for the success we’ve had so far under my reign. It upsets the team when that partnership isn’t there – you saw that at Plymouth and you’ve seen it a little bit again today.
“We have to find ways of tweaking that and changing that. Players, when they are called upon, need to be ready to step up, otherwise I’m always going to go back to the tried and tested one if no-one is going to change my mind.”
Stockley was at the match but was not fit enough to make the bench.
“Hopefully he is not out too long,” said Jackson. “It’s just an issue with his hip which he’s been struggling with all week. We tried to manage it, hoping he’d be okay for the game but it became apparent at the end of the week that he wouldn’t be so we had to go a different way with that.
“We’ll manage him carefully. It’s important we don’t rush him back and he misses a big chunk.”
PICTURES: KYLE ANDREWS
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