BY LOUIS MENDEZ
Charlton rescued a point at the death thanks to returning forward Chuks Aneke’s strike at Whaddon Road. Here’s Louis Mendez’s takeaways from the draw with Cheltenham.
CALL THE COPS
A stolen point. Charlton started brightly, forcing several corners and coming close to taking the lead through Ryan Inniss but from 15 minutes onwards it was all Cheltenham. Stephen Henderson had already denied the hosts two or three times before he was unable to palm Callum Wright’s drive wide – with Dan N’Lundulu on hand to score. The Addicks were marginally better going forward after the break but still weren’t creating a great deal – whereas the hosts had a number of chances to kill them off. But they didn’t, and Aneke, who had already hit the bar at the start of the second-half, was able to grab a poachers goal deep into added-time.
CHUKS IS BACK
It was superb to see Aneke pick up where he left off in a Charlton shirt. The big forward was so dangerous last season and his recapture from Birmingham City finally puts at ease the concern that the South Londoners never replaced the forward after his departure in the summer. The caveat on this deal is clear – Aneke will need to be able to feature more in coming seasons than he did last year. Jackson admitted he’d found it frustrating that Aneke was labelled a player who can’t go longer than 45 minutes – and says he will work hard to build him up into a player whose strengths can be utilised as often as possible. If they can be, Charlton fans will hope this is the first building block towards a promotion push for next season. It will need to be the first of many, mind.
STICKING TO YOUR PRINCIPLES
There’s no getting away from the fact that Charlton have been below par for the last few weeks in League One. Jackson made five changes for the trip to Whaddon Road to look to freshen the side up after the loss at Crewe on Wednesday – but said he planned to stick to his principles when I asked him if a change in shape from the 3-5-2 had been considered as well. The Addicks boss isn’t an outlier in this – then Milton Keynes manager Russell Martin went viral last season when a video of him explaining his plan to work towards a style of football in his image at Stadium MK was well received. Jackson obviously has a plan in mind. He said he doesn’t want to rip it up and start again after a run of disappointing games – but he’ll be well aware that performances and results of late need to addressed as well.
One small positive from the last game and a bit is that Albie Morgan has looked a bit better – but it’s not time to be getting carried away yet. We’ve seen far too many false dawns from Albie. You can’t accuse him of hiding though – outside of the back three he had the most touches of anyone in the Charlton side yesterday and is always looking to make things happen. He was involved in the non-goal the Addicks scored late on at Crewe as well when his ball in was chested down by Mason Burstow. There’s still a year on his contract beyond this season – he’ll have to continue a long way down the same path to become a regular starter for the Addicks but hopefully this was a step in the right direction.
PHOTOS: KYLE ANDREWS
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