Charlton boss Ben Garner expected things to be different when he took over the reins at The Valley.
The Addicks manager saw his side’s winless run stretch to four League One games after this afternoon’s 1-0 defeat at Port Vale – and he admits his squad isn’t competitive enough to challenge at this level.
But Garner, who joined from Swindon in the summer, said he wasn’t able to spend the money he anticipated he would be able to in the transfer window.
“I expected a different set of circumstances when I came in,” admitted Garner, whose side are 14th in the table, six points shy of the play-off places.
“I haven’t been able to recruit as I would have like to. We’ve been limited with that. I’ve only had a limited amount of the budget available to me. That makes it an uphill task. This isn’t a team that was flying last season and finished high up the division. It’s a team and a club that struggled last season. We’re trying to improve that.
“We were making good progress. We’ve now got eight out injured and we’re threadbare in the squad. These are not excuses for today. We have to play and give a lot more than we did today for the supporters who travelled. That has to be a lot better, and I’ll make sure it is moving forwards.
“We’re not strong enough. We’ve not got the depth to compete at the top end of this division. That’s a fact. I’m not a magician, I’m not a miracle worker. We’ve made good progress in a number of areas, but we’re handcuffed in a lot of others.
“Between now and January we’ve got to fight and play a lot better than that to get as many points on the board as we can. Progress as far as we can in each cup competition. And then January is big time for us. We have to improve and strengthen.
“I’ll be looking to make changes moving forward. We have to turn this squad over. We need to get better players in. We have to strengthen. We have to invest. You can see at the moment, across this part of the season, we’re not competitive enough in this division.
“We don’t want to get on to any sort of [winless] run. No defence. We’ve had a lot of games, we haven’t been able to rest and rotate as we’d like because of the numbers we’ve got. We’re really unbalanced in the squad at the moment but we have to find better ways of performing than that. That’s as simple as it is. Not a good afternoon. No excuses from me. I have to find solutions and ways of improving that very quickly.”
PHOTOS: KYLE ANDREWS
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