Charlton boss Dean Holden was frustrated with the amount of ‘unforced errors’ his side made during the 2-0 loss at play-off chasing Derby County.
The Addicks fell to a first away league defeat of 2023 thanks to goals from David McGoldrick and Eiran Cashin.
The opener came from the penalty spot after full debutant Michael Hector was adjudged to have handled Conor Hourihane’s goalbound effort. And the game was finished off as a contest just over 20 minutes from time as Cashin was able to head a free-kick home from eight yards out.
The South Londoners had a couple of moments, but it always felt that the hosts were more purposeful in the attacking third.
Holden said: “When you come to a club like this, that are flying high, to concede after 10 minutes is going to be difficult. It puts you on the back foot. I haven’t seen the penalty back, his arm certainly wasn’t outstretched. He’s maybe leant his body in towards the ball. That’s the reason he’s given the penalty. We had the big chance through Jes (Rak-Sakyi), the one v one. We just didn’t execute that. That goalkeeper did well and smothered it.
“We were the better team in the second half. Most of the game was played in their half of the pitch. They go and score around the 70-minute mark that makes it so much more comfortable for them. A real suckerpunch for us, in terms of how we could respond.
“There wasn’t a lot in the game in between both boxes. It’s just frightening how many basic errors we made today in terms of unopposed giveaways when we had the ball in promising areas or promising moments on transition. Either a poor touch or a poor pass, which is not like us. We’re not then able to sustain them waves of attack to put them under enough pressure to get back into the game.
“Even the penalty, the first cross, we should stop that, defend it better. Always loads to improve. It’s a disappointing afternoon.”
The result leaves Charlton 16 points shy of the play-off places, with sixth-placed Barnsley having played a game fewer than Holden’s side.
“The headline the other day, from what I was told, was that I hadn’t given up on the play-offs,” added Holden.
“Someone had asked me [after Tuesday’s win at Forest Green Rovers] if the season was dead and it’s never dead. Create a headline around that if you want. Are the play-offs too far of a stretch? It looks that way but there’s certainly loads to play for.
“Until the season is over, everybody will give everything in every game. While I’m here, you can’t question that. It’s not been a lack of effort from the players, Derby were just better on the day.”
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