Charlton AthleticSport

Charlton’s Darren Pratley on the importance of bouncing back after defeat to Rochdale

Charlton midfielder-turned-defender Darren Pratley was hugely disheartened as the Addicks fell to a 1-0 defeat at Rochdale.

Ian Henderson’s fourth minute strike was enough to secure just Dale’s second home win of the season on Saturday. Charlton failed to find a leveller, with striker Lyle Taylor seeing a first-half penalty saved and the visitors also hitting the frame of the goal twice as well as having a goal disallowed during the contest at Spotland.

“Very disappointing to be fair,” admitted Pratley, who had partnered Jason Pearce in central defence for the second-game running.

“We expected to come here and win the game. We prepared for it all week. The early goal gave us a little set-back. We had chances, the penalty obviously, we had chances in the first-half to get even. In the second-half we had more. Bitterly disappointed, especially after the win we had last Saturday against Barnsley. We took a point at home (against Oxford). Disappointed to come here and get nothing of the game.

“It was a poor goal from my point of view. We knew they were going to come at us, they’re at home. They’re a team that plays off the cuff, throws a lot of people into the box and hit crosses. We knew that. We weren’t surprised. The gaffer said that to us before we went out. We knew what to expect. So, we were disappointed to be down after four minutes. We got the penalty quite quickly and if that goes in maybe it’s a different game.”

Pratley was heavily involved in some of the major talking points on Saturday. He was bundled over by home goalkeeper Brendan Moore, resulting in the penalty that Lyle Taylor missed being awarded. He was then ruled to be active from an offside position as Josh Cullen seemed to fire Charlton level in the second-half, with the goal being ruled out by the assistant referee. The former Bolton Wanderers man also felt he could have been awarded another spot-kick after being felled right on the stroke of half-time.

“I thought that was a penalty as well to be honest,” he explained.

Charlton Athletic’s Darren Pratley appears to be fouled by Rochdale AFC’s Jordan Williams in the penalty area

“I got my body there and he had to run through me to get the ball. As I was walking off at half-time I asked the referee if their player got the ball. He told me he won the ball. I know for a fact he didn’t win the ball. He told me he won the ball but I don’t think he did.

“I didn’t touch it,” he added, referring to Cullen’s ruled-out effort.

“He said I was offside, in the eyeline of the goalkeeper. I didn’t get a touch.”

The result has seen Lee Bowyer’s side drop out of the top half of League One, sitting in 13th, five points shy of a play-off place and eleven off the top two– albeit with a game in hand on some of those above them.

“It’s still early doors,” said Pratley.

“Nobody wins the league now – it’s not even November yet. But you want to be in and around it. As a whole, we need to concentrate game by and game and stop looking too far ahead about top two and all that. We need to take game by game and make our main focus on that. Maybe we’re looking top two but we need to concentrate on this one and get the three points and then move on.

“We have to regroup and go again. We’ve got a tough game at home to Doncaster. We have to focus on that and put things right.

“We’re down, but when you come off an upset you have to go and put it right. That will be our focus this week. The games come thick and fast in this league. Ideally, we’d like a game Tuesday after coming off a defeat. We’ve got to stay positive. It’s still early doors. Just over a quarter of the season gone. Hopefully we can put it right next week.”

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