Charlton saw their winless run in the Championship extend to eight matches on Saturday afternoon as they slipped to a 1-0 defeat against Middlesbrough on Teesside.
Lee Bowyer’s side fell behind through George Saville’s effort inside the first minute, and they then ultimately failed to breach the Boro defence during the remainder of the match as they dropped to 17th in the Championship.
The Charlton boss is currently dealing with an injury crisis within the club at present – with more than 10 first-team players currently unavailable – and this major issue has now started seriously affecting the Addicks’ league form.
The South London side produced an underwhelming performance against Jonathan Woodgate’s side, with the squad clearly low in confidence as a result of their recent form in the league.
Here are three things we learnt about Charlton during the match…
The lack of effort made this perhaps Charlton’s most concerning display of the season
Charlton have clearly been struggling in the Championship of late despite performing relatively well in many of their matches without getting a result, but this was certainly not the case at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday.
The Addicks started the game in the worst possible way by conceding the opening goal in the first minute, and they never really recovered from this setback as they failed to compete with Middlesbrough in the first half.
Bowyer then made two changes at the interval as he tried to engineer a second-half turnaround for his side, but this could not be achieved despite a slightly improved showing in the second period.
Lyle Taylor looks ready to re-discover his best form for Charlton
Charlton had been without Taylor’s services for over three months before Saturday – as a result of an injury he suffered on international duty back in September – but he made his long-awaited return against Boro on the weekend.
The 29-year-old could not inspire his side to second-half comeback, but Charlton fans will be encouraged by the fact he looked sharp on his return in attack, and he looks capable of hitting the ground running in the coming weeks.
Bowyer’s side are in desperate need of a boost following their recent poor run, and the return of Taylor could provide just that given his strong goalscoring record since joining the South London side in the summer of 2018.
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It was clear Joe Ledley was lacking fitness during his Charlton debut
It was announced on Friday that Ledley has joined Charlton on a short-term deal after a brief stint training with the club, and he was immediately included in the starting line-up for the trip to Middlesbrough.
Ledley would have benefitted from the game time as he played the first half against Woodgate’s side, but it was evident that his year-long stint without a club has damaged his fitness level, and he will need to improve this in the coming weeks.
It is likely that Bowyer has only signed Ledley to provide some much-needed depth to his thin squad heading into the festive period, but the former Derby midfielder will need to impress the Charlton boss more if he wants to be signed on a longer contract.