Michael Appleton said an underlying issue with Charlton’s mentality was not the reason the Addicks were held to a 1-1 draw by non-league Cray Valley Paper Mills in the FA Cup.
The Addicks boss made 11 changes to his side for the FA Cup first round tie at The Valley, giving a host of players who’ve not featured much in the first-team squad a chance to stake a claim.
Technical director Andy Scott said in September: “If we are going to achieve anything then a losing habit has got to stop. We have got to have the mentality that we’re going to win. Michael will bring that and we need to make sure the players understand. Every day in training, on the grass, they will be expected to perform to their best and show a winning mentality.”
When asked if this result suggest there are still mentality issues in the squad below the surface that came to the fore, Appleton said: “I don’t think it did. If I had made a different selection to the group, then it would have been a different scenario. Sometimes you’ve got to manage and balance the group as best you possibly can. I felt the starting eleven was more than capable of winning the game tonight and I still do. Regardless of how poor some of the performances where.
“In terms of a mentality, I think it’s difficult to blame people who’ve not played tonight or not had much of a game tonight. When you’re talking about mentality, you’re talking about a group that in 10 games prior to tonight, we showed enough mentality that when we go a goal behind, or it gets a little bit tough we can deal with that. I reserve judgement, let’s wait to see what happens in the replay.”
PHOTO: KYLE ANDREWS
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