Charlton AthleticSport

Charlton’s defensive howlers will iron themselves out reckons Michael Appleton

Michael Appleton reckons that Charlton’s defensive howlers will iron themselves out over time.

Centre-half Michael Hector gifted Blackpool their second goal during today’s 2-2 draw at The Valley as Karamoko Dembele picked his pocket on the edge of the penalty area.

The same player had a similar moment to forget earlier on this campaign as a long ball forward slipped under his foot during the 3-2 home defeat against Port Vale in August.

Only three sides have kept fewer clean sheets than the South Londoners this season with the Addicks conceding 14 goals in 11 games so far – six more than table toppers Portsmouth at this early stage of the campaign.

Appleton said: “They iron themselves out, certainly from an individual point of view. Hecs is a superb professional. His performance was excellent on the day, obviously he had that one error. He made two important tackles after that error. Clearly, he cleared his mind pretty quickly.

“I use the phrase: ‘you’ve got to have goldfish moments in games.’ If you make a mistake, you have to get it out of his system quickly and he did that. Them type of things iron themselves out.

“The first [goal] we can deal with better as a group. We can defend it much better as a unit. We’ll look at those things. It’s easy for me to try and touch on what we don’t do particularly well but the reality is when we’ve got a group like we are, you’ve got to be careful to not step away from what you’re really good at. It’s about that balance in between.”

The Charlton boss also revealed why Lloyd Jones was replaced by Lucas Ness during the second half.

“We’ve got a few players with knocks and a couple of slight strains,” he explained.

“Lloyd Jones played today but has been ill for three days. It was touch and go before the game whether he’d start or not. We did most of the prep in the last two days with Lucas in the team. I just felt where Lloyd is at this moment of time mentally and physically, as long as I had the green light from him I was happy for him to play.”

PHOTO: PAUL EDWARDS

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