Charlton AthleticSport

Beleaguered Adkins vows to fight on at The Valley after Bolton Wanderers thrash Charlton


Beleaguered Charlton boss Nigel Adkins has vowed to fight on in the Addicks hotseat after his side’s awful start to the League One season continued with a 4-1 home reverse against newly promoted Bolton Wanderers.

The South Londoners have won just once in their opening ten league outings and find themselves marooned in the relegation zone, four points adrift from safety.

Only two sides in the division have conceded more than the 17 times that Charlton have been breached this season, whilst the Addicks have lost three home games out of six already – a record equalled only by Shrewsbury Town.

Adkins stands drenched on the touchline as his side are thrashed by Bolton. Kyle Andrews

The South Londoners were expected to be challenging for promotion coming into this campaign but the disastrous start has seen swathes of supporters turn on the manager – calls that we repeated as Bolton scored three times in the final 17 minutes on Tuesday evening to turn what had been an entertaining encounter for an hour into a one-sided rout by the time the final whistle blew on a miserable, torrid evening in SE7.

Owner Thomas Sandgaard, who tweeted “We need to turn this around” following the latest in a long line of disappointing results, now has a decision to make on the future of the man he drafted in to replace Lee Bowyer in March.

Adkins and his side were jeered from the field but the Addicks manager is determined to stay put.

Elliot Lee trudges away after Bolton score once more at The Valley. Kyle Andrews

“We all know that the results have got to improve,” said Adkins, when asked if he’s been given any indication that Sandgaard will give him time to execute the “long term plan” in place at The Valley if results don’t vastly recover.

“We’re looking to get a stable side. It hasn’t helped that we keep changing the side. Sometimes you’re tinkering with the formation a little bit. I’d like to think that the players now are to a level where we can start thinking yes, we can put a team out there with the confidence that the players can go and play 90 minutes of football. I’ve talked about that before. We’ve got to change it around. There’s been reasons that have been highlighted but ultimately the reality is, where we are at this moment in time we have to improve.

“I totally understand [fans’ frustrations]. I’ve been in football for a long time. When things aren’t going well, the buck stops with the manager and a lot of frustration can be sent in the manager’s direction. I understand that. I want to be here, I want to turn it around, I want us to do well. I know I’ve got to keep working hard to keep doing the right things. We’ve just touched on maybe a good hour but I’ve got to make sure that we keep working hard. The players are going to be here, the owner has set a vision out for the long term. The football club is going to achieve that at some point. When will that be? Time will always tell. But at least there’s a vision and a direction to go to.

Charlton were good for an hour – but were ripped apart by Bolton in the final 17 minutes. Kyle Andrews

“I share the supporters’ feelings because I want to do well here because it’s a really good football club. Put yourselves in the situation, it’s not nice when you’re coming off the pitch and peoples’ feelings are being shown towards you. I understand that. That’s my responsibility to try and help everybody.

“I can understand that. We’re looking at it. I know everyone is working hard, we’re preparing right. Ultimately, we’re not getting the results. We’ve put in a couple of good performances in of late where we ended up with draws and not victories. We’ve started the game ever so well [against Bolton]. We had a good game plan but we’ve ended up on the wrong score line. We all know that score line at home is not a good result. The mood around the place, I’ve got total understanding for the supporters because I share that. I want us to do well. I’ve come here to do well.

“We’ve got a long-term vision. You can talk about many reasons that go on behind the scenes but from my point of view I want to be the Charlton Athletic manager. We ‘ve got to keep working hard to get the players ready for the next game. They’re coming thick and fast. We’ve got Fleetwood away at the weekend that we know will be another challenge because we know in this division there’s no easy games. That’s perfectly clear for everyone to go and see. It’s very competitive and for the neutral, a very exciting league to go and watch.”


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