Michael Appleton has given his verdict after Charlton Athletic ended their wait for a League One away victory after defeating Wigan Athletic 3-2 this evening.
The Addicks won on the road for the first time since April – a sequence of eight matches without maximum points – to move up to 11th in the standings.
The contest looked out of sight at the break with Alfie May scoring twice, taking his tally since his summer move from Cheltenham Town to 11, with Corey Blackett-Taylor adding a third.
But there was a nervy finish when Thelo Asgaard rifled home in the 84th minute and then Stephen Humphrys reduced the deficit just as the match ticked over into six minutes of stoppage time.
“Towards the end we looked like a side that hadn’t won away from home this season,” said Appleton. “It was a little bit nerve-wracking and we lacked a little bit of composure. But we got the job done, which is the most important thing. That was the first thing I said in the dressing room afterwards, that I’m not going to focus on the last 10 minutes or so – I’ll focus on what I saw before.
“Until I had to start making the substitutions because of fatigue and cramping, which was pretty much all the players apart from Pan (Camara), we were great tonight and controlled the game – some of the football we played in the first half was outstanding.
“Ultimately we have been able to see the game out, which is massive. We were on the front foot and pressing really high. Players looked like they were enjoying working really hard and making contact with people – that’s how it needs to be if you want to win on the road, you need that kind of mentality.
“It’s why we went like we did in the full-back areas and had a bit of pace in the wide areas as well, it helped us get up to the ball and stay with the ball. We looked like we had the bit between the teeth because everyone knew it was a huge game for us. Although I was pleased with how we were in the second half on Saturday, we weren’t good enough in the first half and didn’t come out the blocks quick enough.”
Camara was visibly upset as he was forced off inside the opening 10 minutes. The Ipswich Town loanee has recently returned to the first-team fold after sitting out eight matches.
“It’s a hamstring injury – we don’t know the extent,” said Appleton. “They tend to happen this time of the year when the temperature drops a little bit and we’re up north.
“I feel for him, because he has worked ever so hard to get himself back fit and in contention. I’m really gutted for him. I just hope it’s one of them where it is a two or three-week one and he gets the opportunity to recover quickly.”
PICTURES: PAUL EDWARDS
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