Charlton AthleticSport

Michael Appleton: Miles Leaburn injury prioritises need for striker signing in January

Michael Appleton admits that Miles Leaburn’s injury further spotlights the need for Charlton to bring a striker in during the January window.

The Addicks forward limped out of Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Cheltenham. The club announced that he will be missing for up to five months after successful hamstring surgery before the 2-0 FA Cup defeat at Gillingham.

With Chuks Aneke also out until at least the new year, Daniel Kanu was recalled from his loan spell at National League Southend United and came off the bench at Priestfield.

But Appleton accepts that bringing in a forward will be a priority in January.

He said: “Ultimately, you get judged by what you do at both ends of the pitch. You’ve got to make sure you’ve got players who defend the box and do that well, but goals win you games.

“Even if you concede one or two, if you get the right people at the top end of the pitch you give yourself a massive opportunity. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that’s an area we need to fill.

“[Leaburn] is going to be out probably for a sustainable period of the season, possibly for the rest of the season. He’s clearly gutted. He had the issue with his ankle pre-season but the severity of the injury – it was one we were hoping wouldn’t be the case, but it is. He’ll be looked after properly. He’s had his operation. He’ll get his treatment going forward and we’ll support him along the way.”

Conor McGrandles was also absent at Priestfield – with Appleton revealing he has likewise picked up a knock.

“Conor has got a bit of an issue with his calf,” added the Charlton boss.

“He pulled out of training [on Friday]. Louie Watson was always going to get his opportunity today. But it’s a shame because he was in such a good place and his performance levels were very good. It feels like we’ve been hit with a double whammy today.”

PHOTO: KEITH GILLARD

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