Michael Appleton keen to add experience to Charlton squad after draw frustration

By Sports Desk December 23, 2023

Charlton head coach Michael Appleton wants to add more savviness to his squad in the January transfer window after they let more points slip through their fingers in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against managerless Burton.

The Addicks have drawn the joint most matches in League One, with five of their eight draws coming during their current seven-game unbeaten run.

Lloyd Jones headed Charlton in front from Michael Hector’s cross – the centre-back’s first goal since he joined on a free transfer after leaving Cambridge – in the 19th minute.

But the Addicks failed to kill the contest off and were made to pay in the first minute of second-half stoppage time with Ryan Sweeney slotting past Ashley Maynard-Brewer after a Joe Powell free-kick dropped kindly for him in the penalty area.

Appleton said: “It was difficult to take because I didn’t see them scoring – at all.

“It’s just experience (in terms of players he wants in the window). They bring an understanding of situations in games. We’ve got a corner with 88, 89 or 90 minutes on the clock and we’re still putting the ball into the box as if it is almost an embarrassment to play it short – take 60 seconds off the clock.

“The teams that win on a regular basis and are successful do those type of things on a regular basis and the make sure they win those games 1-0. We’re just not there at that point.

“It comes down unfortunately to a lack of experience. Whether you have got a number 10, a number six or a number eight, the reality is whether they are very much attack-minded they have got an awareness and can manage those moments better than maybe one of the young players would do.

“We don’t look like conceding goals, we just are conceding goals at poor moments at the minute. Ash (Maynard-Brewer) isn’t having to make save after save after save. We’re not having things cleared off the line.”

Burton had been on a run of five straight league defeats before Sweeney’s late leveller.

It was a first point on the board for caretaker boss Gary Mills, and he said: “We started brightly and we had a chance after about 15 or 20 minutes from a corner, I don’t know how it didn’t go in.

“Three or four minutes later they score a goal from a second phase, we’re disappointed with that. Between then and half-time it rocked us a little bit. We had a little chat at half-time and tactically changed a few things and we were good value.

“Joe’s quality (from deadballs) is very good. His left foot is as good as you get in League One. It’s all about timing and arriving in the box – we do work on it. With Powelly’s delivery you’d be mad not to.

“It’s a huge confidence boost for us. The performance was good and I don’t think the result was against the run of play. Second half we had a real good go and we attacked in numbers.

“You’d never believe he (Sweeney) was a big, ugly centre-half who heads it and kicks it. He showed good composure.”

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