Nigel Adkins confirmed he took Chuks Aneke off in the closing stages of tonight’s 3-1 win over Lincoln City to prevent him being sent off.
The big striker assisted Jayden Stockley’s opener and netted the third – although Timothy Eyoma actually deflected his shot past Alex Palmer.
But Aneke, introduced at the start of the second half, was withdrawn in the closing stages as he risked a third dismissal of the campaign.
He had already been booked when another foul led to a lengthy talking to from Carl Brook, who had stepped up from his fourth official role after match referee Kevin Johnson went off injured.
Aneke has only started 11 games in League One this season but still managed to net 16 times.
Adkins said: “I was thinking take him off before he gets sent off. It’s the logical thing to do and he knew it straight away.
“He’s competitive. It was planned that he wasn’t going to be starting the game, because he scores a lot more goals when he comes off the bench when all the opposition are tired – and he can use his strength.
“I’ve been blessed that I’ve had lots of really good strikers I’ve managed in my career, but they are normally starting the games.”
Aneke’s involvement on the final day against Hull City on Sunday could boost Charlton’s hopes of sneaking the last play-off place.
But his minutes have been carefully managed in the 2020-21 campaign.
Asked if he is fit enough to play the full match, Adkins replied: “I had a good conversation with the coaching and medical staff. Can he start the game? Can he play 90 minutes? We know he is very effective in the second half of a game.
“He’s got 14 goals. He’s a massive handful and a threat. We’ve got to keep building and building to get more game time. He has made a big impact coming off the bench.
“In the second half we’ve had a good spell where we scored three goals and could’ve scored a few more. Jayden Stockley has missed with a diving header at the back post.
“But we have played the best away team in the league, and they are in the play-offs. So we knew it was going to be a tough game.
It was in the balance at half-time because we knew we had to win the game. Great credit that the players found a way and we played some good football in the second half.”
PHOTOS: PAUL EDWARDS
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