BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Charlton Athletic striker Lyle Taylor muzzled himself discussing the unfair measures used by Oxford United to stop him on Tuesday night.
The Addicks frontman scored from the penalty spot in the 1-1 draw but was also a target for repeated pullbacks and shirt-holding.
Rob Dickie had already been booked before fouling Taylor – referee Dean Whitestone opting to give him a stern talking to before the centre-back was substituted.
Taylor has previously told the South London Press that the lack of protection afforded to Charlton’s flair players was “shambolic” and “farcical”.
But the 28, when asked for his take on the night, was more restrained: “Frustrating – for more than one reason. The biggest reason I can’t really say. But anybody who was here would have seen it. But, by the same token, we had a few chances and could’ve killed the game off.
“I’ve said in the press earlier this season what I feel. To be honest, I don’t know what I can say and I can’t say. Because that’s the case, it is probably better I say nothing.
“But as you were there as a journalist, you can put your spin on it. You saw it with your own eyes – the same way I and all of our fans saw it. I mean that with no disrespect – you can report what you saw. I can’t say what I feel, to be honest with you.”
“We weren’t at our best – we were Saturday [against Barnsley]. So we have to just recover right now and get ready for the weekend. If we can go and win at the weekend – and obviously it is an if because it is a game of football and nothing is given – we’ve had a good week if we walk away with seven points.
“That’s the aim, to pick up maximum points from our journey up to Rochdale and then look back on hopefully a good week.
Oxford right-back Tony McMahon could be seen talking to Taylor as he prepared to take his first-half spot-kick. The Montserrat international slammed the ball down the middle for his eighth goal of the campaign.
“I’ve known Macca for a few years now – we were at Sheffield United together. He said to me: ‘You don’t still do that stupid stutter run-up you used to do?’ I said: ‘What? I’ve never done that because I can’t do it’.
“I see players doing it and I think fair play to you. I haven’t got that. I trust in my technique and that’s it. I knew where I was going to go straight away.
“It’s not something you just turn up and think ‘this is where I’m going to put it’. There’s a lot that people don’t see – conversations and analysis – that goes into taking a penalty.
“It sounds so stupid because you’ve just got a free shot on goal from 12 yards. But honestly it really isn’t as easy as some players make it look.
“We’re talking about the best players in the world here but Eden Hazard – unbelievable. Pogba? He strolls up to the ball. And they wait and wait and wait – it’s not for me. I don’t think I have the cojones for it.”
Charlton had a period of dominance following their lead and Joe Aribo failed to get any kind of meaningful connection after being teed up by Karlan Grant in a prime shooting position.
Taylor said: “There was one where I’ve tried to roll it into Karlan in the middle of the goal and it’s just behind him. Joe’s had a swing at one which maybe he should have just worried about getting a good connection on a big surface – but I’m not going to dig Joe out for that.
“Joe Aribo has been one of our best players this season. I don’t think we are in a state where we need to dig players out like that. We had chances, we could’ve scored more goals – and arguably should.
“We will dust ourselves down, we will recover and back out on the training field on Thursday ready to make things better and put things right.
“Saturday we kept a clean sheet, but do we need to score more than one goal to win a game? It looks that way – 75 per cent of the time you probably do.
“Make no bones about it, we want to be able to win a game 1-0. I’ve seen teams in this division – Blackburn last season – win games 1-0 and do it maybe the not so attractive way, but it’s effective.
“But by the same token we defended brilliantly on Tuesday – that’s Darren Pratley’s second game as a centre-back in his career. He didn’t look out of place. Pearcey was brilliant Saturday and was brilliant again. Sols [Chris Solly] at left-back is brilliant. Anfernee Dijksteel is brilliant. There’s nothing I can really say. It’s not like we were carved open.
“The kid crosses the ball and slices it into the top corner. What can anyone do about that? But we need to score more so that if someone gets the biggest slice of luck ever that it can’t come back to bite us on the backside.
“We still have our goal. It looks to me that nobody really wants to run away with it – that everyone keeps dropping points. I think it is going to be one of those years [with no clear leader]. There’s no reason we can’t be the team to take advantage when people start dropping points.
“I’ve not seen the league table. I know some of the boys have looked at it. I’m not really one for them right now. I don’t see much point. We can only take care of what we can take care of, and that starts now with recovery and making sure we give ourselves the best chance of beating Rochdale on Saturday.”
IMAGES BY PAUL EDWARDS
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