Charlton AthleticSport

Nathan Jones as Charlton finish 16th in League One: Final day defeat at Wycombe highlights how much personnel change is required

Charlton manager Nathan Jones says the final day defeat at Wycombe Wanderers only served to highlight how much work is required on the squad ahead of next season.

Luke Leahy’s eighth-minute penalty – following Terell Thomas’ foul on Richard Kone – was enough to earn the Chairboys a 1-0 win and halt Charlton’s 14-game unbeaten run at the final hurdle.

It took until midway through the second-half for the South Londoners to register a shot on target through half-time substitute Kazenga LuaLua.

Manchester City loanee Lewis Fiorini nearly rescued a  21st draw of the season but his free-kick came back out off the crossbar.

The Addicks end the season 16th in the third tier, their lowest position in 98 years and the joint second-lowest in the club’s EFL history. They finish nine points above the relegation zone and a mammoth 23 points off the play-off places. They mustered a miserable five clean sheets from a possible 46 in League One.

Jones said: “It’s not just the unbeaten run coming to an end, it’s a poor performance today. The first-half, we were probably better than Wycombe, but the old things come back. First attack they have, we dive in, we’re lazy with our defending. We’re not aggressive early on. We give them a start. Once they get in front it’s never a spectacle. They slow the game down, they do it really well.

“No criticism of them, that’s what happens. We had to generate flow and we couldn’t. We didn’t show enough quality when we got into the final third apart from Lewis Fiorini hitting the bar. We didn’t show enough. They had more nous than us.

“It showed the frailties. A reiteration of what we already knew. Now a big summer ahead.

“All today does is rubber stamp what I already knew. They’re a good group, they responded in training. But if we want to be where we want to be then there has to be a big change in personnel.

“When we came in, the threat was going down. I don’t know what happened in the past and I was not concerned but when we came in the side was losing games and we were going down. What we had to do was move away from that. That was the first thing. We’ve done that. At times we should have been better.

“Today, I can’t defend the whole performance. In other games we should have been better. Something allowed the opposition to get ahead. To get a goal or do something. That’s what we have to eradicate. We have to improve. It’s a big summer. We have to improve every department of that football team. That’s what we’re going to do over the summer.

“It was about getting safe and moving forward and having a look at what we’ve got to do next year. We have to improve, categorically. I’m under no illusions. We’re drawing games at home after conceding poor goals.

“We’re not doing the basics well enough on any level. That’s why we haven’t kept clean sheets. Three managers here have not kept clean sheets. Either we’re all bad managers, all bad defensive coaches, or there’s something wrong – I know where my money lies.”


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