Charlton AthleticSport

‘I never want to see another first-half like that’ – Ben Garner scathing of Charlton’s slow start during win over Derby County

Ben Garner has warned his side he never wants to see another 45 minutes like the first-half of Charlton’s 1-0 win over Derby County.

The Addicks recovered from a first-period in which they were distinctly second-best to the recently relegated Rams to go on and claim a first maximum of the season thanks to Corey Blackett-Taylor’s 62nd-minute tap-in.

Joe Wollacott was in inspired form between the sticks for the hosts, particularly in a first-half in which he denied James Collins and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing from close range and that also saw Collins hit the post just before the interval.

But Charlton came out strong after the restart and held on to all three points, with Jason Knight’s late header wide proving a late let-off.

Garner said: “That [first-half] needs to be a monkey off our back now, in terms of playing here. That first 45 minutes, there was nothing that we’d worked on. There was nothing that we’d done. We didn’t commit to anything. That has to be a bit of a hangover from last season of playing here.

Charlton Athletic v Derby County SkyBet League One, The Valley, 06 August 2022
Picture : Keith Gillard

“We’ve put that to bed now. Second-half, we put it to bed and we have to make sure now we play with more bravery and more courage. I have to thank the supporters, they were brilliant today. They could have easily turned in the first-half because we weren’t good at all. They stuck with us, the noise was fantastic and they helped us get those three points.

“We changed shape [at half-time] with the ball to give us a little bit more control in the build-up and through the pitch, to get more control of the game and get it through their lines a bit more. The basics were the big thing in the first-half.

“We didn’t work hard enough first-half, compete enough. We didn’t commit to anything we’ve worked on. I never want to see that again. We need to be brave, stick to what we’ve worked on and work as hard as we can. When we do that, you see what a threat we can be.

“Really pleased with the result. It’s a huge three points for us against a huge club in the division. They came down from the Championship but weren’t really relegated, it was only because of the financial implications and points deduction. You look at their squad and the quality they still have. To win the game is really pleasing but we need to play a lot better moving forward for sure.”

Charlton Athletic v Derby County SkyBet League One, The Valley, 06 August 2022
Picture : Keith Gillard

Wollacott earned his first clean sheet of the campaign and seems to be vindicating Garner’s decision to replace Craig MacGillivray as Charlton’s number one with the man who followed the new Addicks boss to The Valley from Swindon.

“He’s been great,” added Garner.

“Last week and this week. He’s had a fantastic start to his Charlton career, and everyone can see why we brought him to the football club. He was the only player first-half who was at the correct level. Without him we’d have been behind. He’s kept us in it, first-half. He’s had a great start and we’re very fortunate the way he has played in these two games.”


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