Charlton are now winless in seven after falling to a 2-0 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers at The Valley.
Lewis Catt reports from The Valley
Charlton supporters endured yet more misery after another home defeat, this time at the hands of Wolves. In a game of few chances a Jordan Graham strike and a Harry Lennon own goal sealed all 3 points for the visitors.
Karel Fraeye made three changes to the side who earned a point on Boxing Day with El Hadji Ba coming in for the ill Jordan Cousins, Naby Sarr replacing the injured Alou Diarra and Simon Makienok taking his place on the bench allowing Karla Ahearne –Grant a place in the starting line up.
The first half started poorly with neither side playing the most glamorous football. Charlton had the majority of possession but failed to create anything threatening. The first real chance of a dismal half came from a Wolves free kick falling to the feet of Benik Afobe who scooped towards goal with Henderson saving to his left. Ademola Lookman had to leave the field just before half time, after the youngster seemed to aggravate his hamstring when breaking away on the left.
He was replaced by Simon Makienok whose first action of the game was to absolutely flatten referee Keith Hill. That was the last action of the half and both sides entered the tunnel at 0-0. The second half started eventually after a 25 minute interval in order to change referee for the injured Hill. A sloppy Charlton corner sent Wolves up the other end on the counter attack, luckily the ball span to safety.
It wasn’t much longer until Wolves did take the lead. Afobe beat Lennon down the left hand side, drilling a deadly cross into the six yard box. Henderson made the initial save but it fell to Graham five yards out and he made no mistake smashing the ball home. The goal was followed by mass chanting against Karel Fraeye and the Charlton Board. 95% of the crowd rising their feet singing “Stand Up If You Want Them Out.”
There was a warm reception on 80 minutes for the returning Cristian Ceballos who came on to replace Fox after four months out. I believe he can be a big player between now and May if we can get him match fit and keep him away from the treatment room. The hosts continued to struggle in the final third and in the 83rd minute Wolves added another. Graham swung in a corner which towards Danny Batth at the far post. His presence forced Harry Lennon to put it through his own net.
The defeat leaves us two points adrift in 23rd Place. The Addicks will need to grab a vital three points against Forest on Saturday if they are to turn this season around.
Charlton: Henderson, Solly, Sarr, Lennon, Fox (Ceballos 80), Ba, Jackson, Ghoochannejhad (Holmes Dennis 66), Vaz Te, Lookman(Makienok 45), Ahearne-Grant.
“We have to be sharper and better, and most of all we need a win. Everybody wants results not to be how they are now. The way to do that is to not focus on the negative things. As a staff, we focus on what goes wrong and what we have to do to improve but it is not by focusing on negative emotions that things will get better. Nobody is happy at the situation which we are in and what is needed in January will be done, focusing on negativity won’t help the players” Karel Fraeye, Charlton
“Their fans were rumbling and ours were encouraging us. I did feel that if we could start quickly and go into our fans that we could get the result we wanted” Kenny Jackett, Wolves.
- Henderson has been shaky of late, keeps missing crosses and a few wayward kicks. Again I have to question the goalkeeper coaching post Ben Roberts.
- We are terrible at defending set pieces. We seem lost and all at sea when the ball enters our box.
- We are seriously lacking quality in the final third.
- Chris Solly and Johnnie Jacksons performances today spoke volumes, effort throughout and obviously care for the cause.
- This IS a relegation dogfight now, I’m not sure if we have the management to motivate the players to get us out this mess.
- About 90% of the home fans made their feelings heard.
You can follow Lewis on Twitter – @LewisCatt9