Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman has claimed Charlton Athletic’s players need to step up and be counted, as pressure builds on Nigel Adkins.
Coleman saw his Stanley side beat Charlton 3-2 at The Valley on Tuesday night, condemning the Addicks to a fifth defeat in eight league games, with just one win in that time.
That leaves Charlton 22nd in the League One table, four points adrift of safety, and with the club’s owner Thomas Sandgaard in attendance, there were calls from the home for Adkins to be relieved from his position as manager during that defeat on Tuesday.
Now though, it seems that Coleman believes that Charlton’s players need to be held accountable for the position the club find themselves in as well.
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Speaking after the game, the Stanley boss was quoted by The South London Press as saying: “I feel for Nigel because Nigel is one of the good guys. He’s come under criticism here from the get-go tonight.
“He’s in a no-win situation – if they win he’s only beaten little Accrington, if he loses you shouldn’t be losing against little Accrington.
“He’s assembled a good set of players in there, and the players have to step up to the mark. It’s not always the manager’s fault.
“You saw the way they penned us in for big periods of the second half, they weren’t throwing the towel in – that’s for sure.
“Listen I’m a manager so I’m biased aren’t I? But I just don’t think he deserves the criticism he’s got. He’s a good manager, he doesn’t need me to tell him that. I know he’s a good manager.
“He’s a good guy as well. It’s hard. We’re all in the same boat, we all have the same problems. Some are magnified more by the expectations or finances. I just think people should be a little bit more realistic.
“There’s a lot of big clubs in this league, not everyone can go up, so there’s going to be disappointed people come the end of the season.
“I know just by speaking to the staff there, they’re disappointed with the position that they’re in. They’ve got a good team. They are more than capable of climbing the table.”
Next up for Charlton is a challenging trip to the Stadium of Light on Saturday afternoon, to face second-placed Sunderland.
You do feel as though Coleman has something of a point with what he is saying here.
While Adkins is the one who sets Charlton up in a specific way and selects the side, he has very little control of what happens on the pitch, so things are not entirely his fault.
Ultimately though, it is a manager who is always judged on results, and right now, Adkins is not getting them at The Valley for one reason or another, and given you cannot change your playing squad midway through the season, that means he is the one whose job is on the line when a change needs to be made.
With that in mind, you feel Charlton need a big result at Sunderland on Saturday, or else Adkins may find himself in a very precarious situation indeed, especially when you consider what was expected of this side at the start of the season.