‘Job done’ for Michael Appleton as Charlton end away-day hoodoo

By Sports Desk October 31, 2023

Charlton boss Michael Appleton admitted the 3-2 victory at Wigan – his side’s first away win of the Sky Bet League One season – was ‘job done’.

All the damage was done in the first half at the DW Stadium, with two goals from Alfie May and one from Corey Blackett-Taylor.

After substitute Tyreece Campbell came within a lick of paint of making it four shortly after the restart, the Wigan revival began.

Thelo Aasgaard hit the bar – team-mate Callum Lang had done the same in the first half – before the Norway junior international pulled one back with six minutes to go.

And a frantic finale was ensured when substitute Stephen Humphrys scored Wigan’s second goal in the last minute, only for Charlton to hold out.

“We got the job done, which was the most important thing and the first thing I said in the dressing room afterwards,” said Appleton.

“I’m not going to focus on the last 10 minutes. I’ll focus on what I’ve seen before.

“We were on the front foot. We were pressing really high. The players looked like they were enjoying working really hard and making contact with people.

“If you want to win on the road, you need that type of mentality. We knew the areas of the pitch we had to press really aggressively and we did that and got all the rewards for it.

“Even if they got the first goal, if we’d got three or four wins under our belt on the road, then I don’t think they get a second.

“It’s just that mentality of ‘oh no, surely this can’t happen’, which you could sense was dropping into one or two players.

“But, to be fair, there were a few players on the pitch who rallied round and got after some of our younger players and made sure they could see the game out.”

Wigan boss Shaun Maloney took ‘full responsibility’ for the result after making three changes to a side that had won three matches in the space of a week.

A triple change at the interval helped redress the balance, with Martial Godo coming on and laying on the goals for Aasgaard and Humphrys, but it was too little, too late.

“I spoke a few weeks ago in terms of us having a really great start to the season, and I spoke about complacency setting in,” he said. “And possibly I think that happened again.

“But I have to take full responsibility for that, I didn’t get the team right. You could see the way we played in the second half was very different.

“I didn’t get the team right, the changes I made – that I hoped would have a positive impact – didn’t contribute to a good performance by the team.

“Charlton were very good, they deserved their 3-0 lead at a minimum. But the second half was the complete opposite, and I’ll have to focus a lot on that heading into the weekend.

“As a club, from top to bottom, we have to understand that at no point can we take our foot off the gas, any of us, and that starts with me.”

Related items

  • Ian Evatt baffled by Bolton loss as Wigan complete double Ian Evatt baffled by Bolton loss as Wigan complete double

    Ian Evatt insisted he was ‘baffled’ as to how Bolton did not pick up all three points at neighbours Wigan – let alone coming away from a feisty Sky Bet League One fixture with nothing.

    Stephen Humphrys’ 69th-minute goal was enough to settle a stirring Lancashire derby at the DW Stadium, and see the Latics record a league double over their neighbours.

    But while Wigan’s victory last August had been a 4-0 romp, this time Bolton had the upper hand for three-quarters of the game – without managing to translate that onto the scoreboard.

    It left them wide open to a sucker punch which further dents their promotion hopes.

    “We controlled it, it was one team trying to win and the other one trying to survive,” said Evatt.

    “Football, as I have said before, is a really harsh industry.

    “I am the first to say when we have not performed, and we performed. The only thing missing was the goal.

    “We had chances and they just didn’t go in. Sometimes you don’t get what you deserve.

    “But there isn’t a man in the stadium that can honestly say that we didn’t deserve to win that game.”

    The evening ended with the majority of players from either side involved in a melee that saw both managers having to get involved.

    “We won’t accept one of their players celebrating in front of our supporters,” added Evatt. “Go and celebrate with your own fans, no issue with that, but not ours.

    “You certainly shouldn’t be celebrating when you are mid-table.”

    Opposite number Shaun Maloney countered: “I think their manager thought one of our players was over-celebrating in the far corner.

    “But there’s no hard feelings on either side, these are just emotional moments.”

    On his side’s victory, Maloney added: “We obviously had to defend for long periods. But I really liked some of the things we did in the first half with the ball, without creating a lot.

    “Both teams were trying to play through each other, and I thought they were really good with the ball.

    “I had to respect the players they have – I think they have a lot of good attacking players – and we tried to get pressure high up.

    “At times it worked, and at times it didn’t work. But in that last 20 minutes or so, we had to defend and in fairness to the lads, I thought they were brilliant.

    “It was tough, really tough out there and they really dug deep.

    “It was a derby and in these types of games, particularly being at home, you give absolutely everything… every tackle, every header, you give it your all.

    “In terms of tactical things, the fans aren’t going to worry… as long as they see their players giving their all, they’re happy – and they did.

    “Trust me, I would have liked more of the ball but it was tough out there and we needed the fans, particularly near the end.

    “Some of the lads were on their knees at the end and they take all the credit there, along with the fans.”

  • Paul Warne bemoans Derby’s second-half display in shock home defeat to Charlton Paul Warne bemoans Derby’s second-half display in shock home defeat to Charlton

    Derby boss Paul Warne admitted his team did not look like a promotion side after they were beaten 2-1 at home by strugglers Charlton.

    For the second time in four days, Derby lost after going in front and Warne knows they have to improve to have a chance of going up.

    Derby had a lot of possession in the first half and went ahead in the 39th minute when Eiran Cashin headed in a corner.

    But it was different in the second and a rush of blood from goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith allowed Charlton to draw level.

    Wildsmith brought down Daniel Kanu and Alfie May sent him the wrong way with the resulting penalty.

    Another mistake gave Charlton their first win since November when Ebou Adams let Kanu in and although Wildsmith blocked his shot, Karoy Anderson scored his first senior goal with the rebound.

    “Very frustrated, I thought the first 20 minutes our play was really good without creating clearcut openings and I was really pleased with how we played first half,” Warne said.

    “Second half we didn’t start as well and there’s a massive turning point. Joe’s held his hands up, but it’s a mistake.

    “That was disappointing from our point of view and then another mistake in the middle of the pitch and they punished that.

    “It isn’t a performance of a team that’s going to get promoted and that isn’t the level of performance that we expect.

    “We have shot ourselves in the foot no end of times this season at home, more so than away, and tonight we got punished for our mistakes, and we have to be better if we are going to be successful.

    “We didn’t have enough, that’s the honest truth. It’s really disappointing because in a position like that with so few games left, you need to see games out and manage them better.

    “We didn’t have enough great performances in the second half to justify the three points.”

    Charlton manager Nathan Jones admitted his side’s half-time team-talk was the catalyst for t

    “It was a game of two halves,” the Welsh boss said. “The first half, we were nowhere near the levels we demand. We were tentative, we weren’t aggressive enough and we allowed Derby to do certain things we didn’t want them to do.

    “We had a few words at half-time and in the second half I thought we were outstanding. We over-ran them, we were aggressive and I’m really proud of the second-half performance.

    “And that’s what they’ve got to learn, they haven’t won for a long time, so we are having to cross milestones in terms of things, but that second-half performance was everything I wanted from my team.

    “Now we are showing form that can take us forward.”

  • You learn to dance in the rain – Steve Evans hails hard-fought win You learn to dance in the rain – Steve Evans hails hard-fought win

    Steve Evans was pleased to see his Stevenage side ‘dance in the rain’ as Boro returned to the top six with a 1-0 win over managerless Cambridge in League One.

    Jordan Roberts turned and swivelled on the edge of the box to score and press home Stevenage’s dominance after Us keeper Jack Stevens was called into action on multiple occasions, with his side now just five points above the relegation zone.

    As for Stevenage, they leapfrogged Oxford to move back into the play-off spots and Evans hopes his side have what it takes to weather the challenges ahead in the run-in.

    He said: “When you are in the promotional season, I have been in it many times. There are loads of storms that come.

    “Storms can be opposition, they can be officials or players getting injured. Storms could be bad misses; storms can be bad mistakes at the back or a bad error.

    “But you learn to dance in the rain, and that means you learn to work hard and be disciplined and I thought my players danced in the rain tonight.”

    Stevenage were threatened by Cambridge sporadically in the second half, and the home side failed to add a nerve-settling second goal for the second game in a row after failing to put 10-man Wycombe to the sword on Saturday.

    Evans said: “I think tonight there is no reason why we don’t score more, and we had a couple of one-on-ones and we have to take them.

    “We moved it around and we had big opportunities to get the second goal and then enjoy our evening, but I think this season we have never done it the easy way compared to last year.”

    Cambridge, meanwhile, have won only once in their last six games and find themselves without a manager ahead of a crunch trip to third-place Bolton on Saturday, with Barry Corr expected to take charge in the north-west.

    The interim head coach said: “Stevenage are very direct and get numbers around the ball, and we needed to do something about that.

    “You have to combat Stevenage and they are good at what they do. They spend ages over everything and Stevenage is a difficult place to come this year and they are having a brilliant season.

    “The fixtures have been difficult in the last three games, we played three teams in the top six. I don’t want to make excuses but these games won’t define our season and playing Bolton away won’t define our season.

    “But we will go there and we will look to be as competitive as we can, and we don’t want to feel sorry for ourselves.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.