Charlton AthleticSport

Charlton must take heart from cup exit against Premier League Norwich – Ryan Inniss

BY LOUIS MENDEZ

Charlton must take heart from their FA Cup performance despite defeat against Norwich City, according to defender Ryan Inniss.

The League One Addicks were 38 places below the top-flight Canaries in the pyramid before kick-off but dominated large spells of the contest without breaking the deadlock.

The visitors were forced to throw on heavyweights such as top-scorer Teemu Pukki at half-time and finally edged ahead inside the final 10 minutes thanks to a close-range strike from Kosovan international Milot Rashica.

The Addicks nearly forced extra-time as Ben Purrington’s 96th-minute header crashed back off the crossbar.

Ben Purrington’s header came back off Tim Krul’s crossbar in added-time. Kyle Andrews

Inniss said Charlton must take pride from the cup performance and ensure it translates into their league displays.

“After that, it’s given us real confidence,” said the 26-year-old centre-half.

“We’re gutted. We’ve played against a Premier League team. Whether they’re doing well or not, we’re sat in there devastated that we haven’t advanced to the next round. We set the bar today. That’s how we can play and that’s how we have to play.

“It’s very disappointing given the way we played. The boys were excellent all over the park. The way we started, the crowd got behind us. The gaffer mentioned it afterwards, the last few results bar the MK one – the performances have been a lot better than the results we ended up with. But it’s about winning football matches at the end of the day.

Jonathan Leko lifts a golden opportunity over from close-range. Kyle Andrews

“You can play as well as you want but if you don’t get the three points in the league or advance to the next round, in a couple of months’ time you look back at the fixture list and it’s still been a loss. Take nothing away from the application from the boys. If we can nail that again on Wednesday against Crewe and then going into the weekend [at Cheltenham], we can give other teams a real test.

“They’ve got quality, we knew that. But if you get in the face of the opposition with a crowd behind us, the numbers that came in today, it poses them a question. We got in their face and were on the front foot. We just needed to get that killer touch at the end. Once we get one or two, hopefully sooner rather than later, I think the rest will come.”

PHOTOS: KYLE ANDREWS

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