Charlton boss Michael Appleton said having to make enforced substitutions ‘hurt’ his side as they were knocked out of the EFL Trophy by Reading on Wednesday night.
The Addicks took the lead in the first knockout stage of the competition through Alfie May in the 42nd minute.
But defender Lloyd Jones was withdrawn at half-time for Terell Thomas. George Dobson and Tayo Edun were also taken off during the second half while the South Londoners had the advantage, with youngsters Karoy Anderson and Nathan Asiimwe coming on in their place.
Charlie Savage equalised for the Royals in the 82nd minute and Reading won 4-2 on penalties, with May and Luton loanee Louie Watson missing the spot kicks.
Charlton host Cambridge tomorrow in League One.
“I thought we were good and fine for long periods,” Appleton told CharltonTV.
“Having to make the substitutions hurt us tonight.
“We seem to lose our rhythm and control of the game – they grew into it for those latter stages.
“When the likes of Lloyd Jones and George Dobson have to come off with slight injuries issues, there was a bit of a drop-off.
“It was more precautionary. Lloyd got a knock to his foot on Saturday – he felt he could cope with it during the game.
“It was getting a little bit sorer as the game got older, so we didn’t want to take any chances at half-time so that’s why we made the substitution.
“Dobbo felt his groin a little bit. He felt it in the early part of the second half and it didn’t settle.
“He seems to be reasonably confident that he’ll be fine for Saturday.
“It was just an accumulation of knocks and whacks [for Tayo].
“We clearly wanted to progress tonight but the reality is that Saturday is a far more important game for us.”
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