BY LOUIS MENDEZ
It’s often said that a last-gasp leveller can make a draw feel like a win, and Charlton skipper Jason Pearce hopes his side can take the momentum of the late point earned against Wigan into their final day showdown at Leeds United.
Macauley Bonne’s cultured 92nd-minute finish pegged the Tics back to a 2-2 draw and improved the Addicks’ hopes of escaping relegation at Elland Road on Wednesday evening.
The South Londoners twice fell behind against their fellow relegation-threatened visitors but a first-half strike from Alfie Doughty and then Bonne’s added-time heroics ensured they got a vital share of the spoils and will go into Wednesday’s decider outside of the Championship drop-zone.
“We’re getting into the last few minutes and you’re thinking, oh no, we’re going to lose and then to get that, it feels a bit like a win,” said Pearce, 32.
“I still felt we could have won the game. We feel like we’re playing well at the moment. We’re not a team down there and playing poorly. We feel like we’re playing well and giving every team a game.
“We’ve got to take that confidence [into Wednesday]. We’re playing top of the league, they’ve just been promoted. They’ve won the league. We’ve got nothing to lose going there and we’ll give our all like we always have done.
“It was a tough game. We knew with them coming off the back of an 8-0 win that it was going to be and we had to be at it. Although we conceded two poor goals, on our behalf, the boys gave everything ang hopefully the fans saw that watching. It could be a huge point. To get that point is massive for us. Psychologically, not going into the relegation zone is great. It gives ourselves a good opportunity at Leeds.”
Both of Wigan’s goals on Saturday came as a result of the Addicks losing the ball in their own half – mistakes which Pearce said were out of character for a side that had conceded just five goals in seven outings before Saturday.
He said: “In games of that magnitude, where it’s very important, it’s important not to take silly risks. I’m not saying that they were definite silly risks but it’s just that we need to clear our lines at times and do what we have to do in a game like that.
“We were unfortunate to conceded two goals, on our behalf defensively you might say it’s not been like us. But it shows great character from all of us. No one got down on it, everyone just kept going, kept giving their all.”
Former Wigan and Leeds defender Pearce has started all of his side’s games since the return to action from lockdown and says he’ll be raring to go at Elland Road on Wednesday, despite suffering some cuts and bruises against the Tics on Saturday.
“I got some massive stud marks down the back of my leg. My calf went really tight. I thought I was going to have to come off at one point but I managed to keep on going. We’re walking wounded in the changing room at the minute but everyone is giving their all. It’s been tough since we’ve come back but we just keep on going. For me personally, I’ll make sure I’m there on Wednesday night and playing and I’ll do what I have to do. I’m sure that will be the same for the other lads. We’ll keep on giving our all.”
PHOTOS: PAUL EDWARDS/ KYLE ANDREWS
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