BY LOUIS MENDEZ
Nigel Adkins cut a frustrated figure after his Charlton side fell to defeat on the road at Oxford United.
Quickfire goals from Ryan Williams and Cameron Brannagan saw former Charlton boss Karl Robinson’s team open up a two-goal advantage just beyond the half-hour mark at the Kassam Stadium.
Conor Washington reduced the arrears before the break from the penalty spot after a U’s defender was penalised for handball but the South Londoners failed to find a way back into the contest in the second-period – and were perhaps fortunate that the hosts’ winning margin remained at just one goal.
Adkins, who suffered his first away defeat since taking over as Charlton manager, said: “It was disappointing. When you look at the first opportunity early in the game, the goalkeeper has made a great save from Conor Washington. It was a nice little flick on from Jayden Stockley and Conor is there and the keeper made a great save. We’ve conceded two goals on the counter attack. We’re in their attacking third. I’ve watched them both back and there’s several situations we could have done better as a team to stop the two goals.
“Ultimately, you’re 2-0 down and that does change the complexation of the game. For me it was very stop-start at times. It seemed to be very slow, I wanted a bit more oomph. The lads were in great nick yesterday and were going into the game with a lot of confidence this morning. We had a lot of belief about ourselves but it just didn’t happen.
“They had spells, we had spells. We got ourselves back into the game. A very well taken penalty by Conor Washington. As the game’s going on, you make a change. DJ [Dialliang Jaiyesimi], for me, who has had a great pre-season and start to the season, he wasn’t involved in the game. We didn’t get him the ball enough and he wasn’t making any impact.
“Josh Davison, who has done really well, I thought get him on. His energy and enthusiasm his work rate to go around will get us on the front-foot again. We needed that momentum, we were chasing the game. That was my mindset on that. If anything, we’re maybe going forward a bit. I wanted to put Ben Watson in there for the space to see the situation and control the game and build a bit more and we’ve done that.
“At times, they’ve got three players around Jayden Stockley so there’s spaces to go and play. When we’ve manipulated the ball wide to get into good areas, then it’s about the decision making and the quality. At the end there, in the last ten minutes, you’re chasing it in a way and I’ve got Charles Clayden and his dynamic pace, who again has done really well in pre-season. Take the full-back off, Chrissy Gunter and be very attack minded to try and get him on the pitch. You’ve got a frontline of Washington very close to Stockley and Davison. Three in midfield, if you look at them they’re very good in midfield, a good passing side. If you leave yourself too exposed there then they are going to have a lot of the ball.
“We’ve come here to get the three points and we’re very disappointed that we haven’t.”
PHOTOS: PAUL EDWARDS
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