Charlton Athletic got a much needed win at Fleetwood Town on Saturday giving Nigel Adkins a lot to consider over the next two weeks, with the Addicks’ match with Rotherham United postponed due to international call-ups.
The South Londoners remain inside the League One relegation zone having won two, drawn three and lost six in their opening 11 league outings.
Charlton still conceded a lot of chances in the 2-1 victory and will need to shore up the defence considerably if they are to resurrect their campaign.
A trio of Lincoln City, Accrington Stanley and Sunderland, with the rearranged Millers clash also set to be soon, represents a tough run off the back of the international break. The Addicks are still way off the level supporters were expecting going into the campaign and must strive for improvements in the next two weeks to ensure they climb out of the bottom four.
Here, we take a look at two things Charlton Athletic need to work on during the international break…
Protecting the back four
The Addicks have an excellent budding centre back partnership of Sam Lavelle, 25, and Akin Famewo, 22, but they have been exposed time and time again with a lack of protection from the midfield.
Bolton Wanderers picked Charlton off at The Valley last midweek with attacking midfielders Kieran Lee and Antoni Sarcevic running riot, while the defence was pre-occupied with the likes of Oladapo Afolayan and Eoin Doyle, Lee and Sarcevic had a field day and a lack of protection from Ben Watson and Sean Clare heavily contributed to that.
Charlton have conceded a lot of goals stemming from the edge of the box this season and a well drilled holding midfielder would make the world of difference to their defensive fortunes.
Goals from midfield
Quiz: Have Charlton Athletic ever been involved in these 18 scenarios?
George Dobson, Harry Arter, Ben Watson, Alex Gilbey, Albie Morgan and Sean Clare have all had first team opportunities in midfield so far this season and as a collective they have scored one goal.
With Clare slotting home from a short corner against Portsmouth, if the Addicks are going to be this porous at the back then they need to fight fire with fire.
Gilbey and Morgan have the ability to arrive in the box at the right time and need to start doing it on a regular basis if Charlton are to be able to make up for lost time this term.