Charlton AthleticSport

‘That performance didn’t deserve to be booed’ – Ben Garner defends Charlton side after stalemate at Lincoln

It’s now eight league games without a win for Charlton Athletic – a run of results that sees them sitting just two points above the drop zone.

Saturday’s goalless draw at Lincoln City extended the Addicks’ dry spell on the road with Ben Garner’s side yet to taste League One victory away from home all season.

So, when does the South Londoners’ league position become a concern?

“It’s still early in the season,” said Garner when asked that question.

“We’re still early in the process. My concern is focusing on the team and improving performances. Looking to get that win as quickly as we can. By no means have we been poor this season.

“I don’t think our league position is reflective of how we’ve played and what we’ve done in games but that’s where we are. We have to roll up our sleeves. We have to take criticism as we have today. The only way to turn that is to win games and prove people wrong.

“If we’re not good enough, I’ll hold my hands up and say. That was not a performance today that deserves to be criticised. Players put fantastic effort in as a group. Defensively worked really hard and were really solid.

Miles Leaburn saw the Addicks’ best opening go begging. Kyle Andrews

“We’ve had a go. Where we haven’t won games, we’re lacking a little bit of confidence in that final third. That’s all that was missing today. If we’re not good enough, if the application isn’t right then I hold my hands up. As per the first half last week [against Oxford]. That deserved to be booed. That performance today didn’t deserve to be booed.”

Both sides only mustered one effort on target during an uninspiring contest at Sincil Bank.

Miles Leaburn came closest for Charlton as his shot squirmed through Carl Rushworth – only for the home stopper to recover as the ball dribbled towards the goal line. Addicks keeper JoJo Wollacott made a fine save from Danny Mandroiu as he preserved just his second clean sheet of the campaign.

Garner added: “Defensively we were very good and thoroughly deserved the clean sheet, which is a positive. We haven’t had enough of what we’d want in terms of that. I thought we controlled long periods of the game. We had to play like the home team.

“They sat in a mid, low block. They try and frustrate you and counter attack. We really restricted them. JoJo only had the one save. It would have been nice to create a little bit more and get the goals.

“We had opportunities. We had a three v one break in the first half which doesn’t go down as a shot or a chance, but it is. A little pass and someone is clean through. We had penalty appeals that we don’t get.

“I don’t know if [Leaburn’s chance] went over the line or not. We’ve had no luck. But we need to work, improve, push to hopefully get three points on Tuesday night [against Exeter City at The Valley].”


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