Charlton AthleticSport

Alan Curbishley and Dean Kiely agree…any excuses for Charlton’s terrible start to season need to stop now

Alan Curbishley and Dean Kiely both reckon the time for any excuses over Charlton’s woeful start to the League One season is over.

The pair were on punditry duty for Charlton TV tonight as the South Londoner club lost 4-1 at home to Bolton Wanderers.

The result leaves the Addicks languishing 23rd in the table with only six points from 10 matches. And rock bottom Doncaster have played a match fewer.

The pressure has been ratcheted up on Adkins, who succeeded Lee Bowyer in the Valley hotseat in the middle of March.

Curbishley, who twice led Charlton to promotion to the top-flight and kept them there for an extended spell, feels Saturday’s match at Fleetwood is crunch time.

”If you go in without any enthusiasm [to training] they are going to notice it. Nigel is not lacking that. This is it now, this is my team…this is the shape I want to play. I don’t care if you’ve played 90 minutes tonight – this is a do-or-die game. We’ve got a week off after that. That [the EFL Trophy] is irrelevant.

“Saturday is the game. Get on with it. We can’t keep chopping and changing, like we have been. It may have been forced on him, but we’re past that now. We’re past that stage…we’ve got to get results.

“We’ve all been in this position as managers and it ain’t nice. It’s lonely. You feel responsible for everything, which Nigel probably is feeling now. But it’s no good ranting and raving – you’ve got to lift them and give them a bit of confidence.

“That’s what I’m sure he’ll be looking to do over the next couple of days.

Asked about the booing and chants at the end directed at Adkins, Curbishley replied: “He’s had it here a couple of times now. Listen, look at the size of the club? Second from bottom in League One. Blimey. You’ve got to accept the criticism if you come into a big club and it ain’t working. That’s why you take the job on. He knows this is a big club and if you get it right then if we get into the Championship we will sell this ground out most weeks, with the clubs in there.

“It’s really disappointing. There will be all excuses made at the moment about signing players late and doing this and that….excuses are gone now. Just got to get results. They were [mitigating circumstances] because we can clearly see some of the players are not fit. But you can’t use that now. We have got to get some results, starting this weekend.”

Charlton Athletic goalkeeper Dean Kiely

Former Addicks shotstopper Kiely, now goalkeeping coach at Crystal Palace, echoed the sentiments of Curbishley.

He said: “The one thing that is taken out of the equation now is when the manager makes his decision there is no-one who can knock on the door. Absolutely [he has given everyone a chance].

“He has to apologise for nothing moving forward and picking a team for the weekend.

“And going back to all the mitigating circumstances, of which there are many by the way, football is ruthless. We all know in this room that no-one cares anymore about that. The longer it goes on and the position they find themselves in, they dilute. The fans will say: ‘Yeah, heard that and head about this – getting players in late. Understand that.’ They understood it in August and they still understand it but they are just bored of hearing it and want to see their team win.

“I’m not saying there is one person who is responsible for that. It’s collectively.”

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