Charlton AthleticSport

Charlton are one of League One’s form teams…so what has Michael Appleton changed to spark upturn?

Michael Appleton reckons that his Charlton Athletic side are moving closer to the “winning mentality” that he wants and believes is the hallmark of any successful team.

The Addicks are unbeaten since the head coach took charge last month with three wins and three draws.

Charlton are five undefeated at The Valley in the league after yesterday’s 4-0 victory against struggling Reading.

Appleton’s impact has seen the South London club move within striking distance of the League One play-offs.

Only Portsmouth (18), Oxford (16) and Burton (14) have taken more points than Charlton (12) over the last six matches.

Asked by the South London Press about the factors behind the Addicks kicking on under him, Appleton said: “We’ve got more players running without the ball, away from the ball. Before everything was potentially in front of the opposition – looking quite pretty at times, side to side to side without hurting or threatening them enough.

“The biggest thing, more than anything, is mentality. It’s one thing having a culture and a nice place to be at – a nice team – but there’s a difference that a winning culture and winning mentality is very different, because you have to fall out with each other, at times, and ask questions, at times. That is healthy – as long as it is done in the right way.

“I think we’re getting there. We’re still on the journey but we’re definitely getting to the point where we are prepared to ask questions and fall out with each other to make sure we get the right results.

“I sound like a boring sod but our focus has been on this week. We know it is a big week – three games in one week – and I know there is a game after that, at Wigan.

“Our focus has been on these seven days, to try and pick up as many points as we can and see where we are at, after that.

“We can’t get too carried away. The league is so open. We’ve got to try and keep momentum and being aggressive in everything we do, out of possession and in possession and see what happens.”

PICTURE: PAUL EDWARDS

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