BY LOUIS MENDEZ
Charlton boss Lee Bowyer says his side have to stem the flow of sloppy goals they’ve been giving away recently.
Twice the Addicks fell behind during Boxing Day’s 2-2 draw with Plymouth Argyle at The Valley – with Luke Jephcott capitalising from weak defending both times to score for the visitors.
Strikes from Chris Gunter and substitute Marcus Maddison ensured the Addicks enjoyed a share of the spoils but they couldn’t improve their record of just one win in five League One games after conceding two for the third outing in a row.
Bowyer explained: “It’s both boxes. We’re giving away too many soft goals and it’s something we have to work on as a group. I won’t say it is lack of effort or fight because everyone is putting a shift in, they’re all working hard.
“A game that I think we dominated large portions of. We moved the ball well, we created chances. Again, just not ruthless enough in front of goal. And we gave away two soft goals. We worked on what they do, they get it wide to the wing-backs and slide it down the channel for their strikers to run on to. That’s pretty much what they did for the first goal. We worked on that and it happened too easily. The second one, a set-piece again. We have to be stronger and stop giving away these silly goals. We scored two, again could have scored four or five.
“I just want more. I see us getting closer to where I know we can get to. We still need to work on things but we’re getting there, we’re creating a lot more chances then we have been than four weeks ago, say. It’s becoming more fluid now. Our play and the chances we’re creating. We’ve just got to stop the other side now, stop conceding goals and we’ll go on a big run. I believe we are really close to that.
“I’m learning from some players. We seem to at the moment have a lot of impact players. People coming off the bench going well but then when you start them, not being the same player. This is something that we’ll have to look at ourselves and how we can keep trying to get the best team out there.
“We’ll keep working hard. We haven’t lost in four and we’re in the top six. With a game in hand. We’re not doing that bad. We will get better. I keep saying it, we are improving. I’m seeing it on the side-lines. Our goalkeeper didn’t have any saves to make like he was earlier on in the season but we’ve had to pick the ball out of the net, which isn’t good. We’re limiting teams’ goal-scoring opportunities and that’s important.”
Maddison’s introduction helped to swing the game back in the Addicks’ favour. The former Peterborough man scored just two minutes after coming on as a 65th-minute substitution, rifling a powerful drive into the bottom corner from range.
“He’s getting fitter,” said Bowyer when asked about the impact the midfielder made.
“He’s working hard and he’s doing things that take him out of his comfort zone. So, I’m really pleased for him to get that goal today. He’s working hard in training. It’s definitely not natural to him to run around when his team loses the ball but I think the players have noticed the level that we want and expect. He’s moving in the right direction.
“If we can get him fitter, he didn’t play football for a long, long time. From the first lockdown. He missed a lot of fitness but we just saw there the quality he can bring. It wasn’t just the goal, it was two or three things that he did. He has something a bit different that no one else really has for us.
“It’s just getting that fine balance with him, Jonny [Williams], Chuks [Aneke] and Omar [Bogle]. We need to get that right.”
PHOTOS: KYLE ANDREWS
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