Charlton Athletic manager Nigel Adkins has admitted the Addicks’ defensive record hasn’t been good enough so far this season, speaking in his pre-match press conference to the club’s media team as the League One strugglers head into this weekend’s tie against Fleetwood Town.
The third-tier outfit have won just one of their opening ten matches of the league season so far, consigning them to 23rd place in the division and leaving them four points adrift of safety in a shocking start.
After losing just one of their latter 15 matches in League One last term, with Adkins carrying on Lee Bowyer’s good work at The Valley, they were one of the favourites to push for promotion despite how competitive the league is this season.
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The additions of last season’s prolific loanee Jayden Stockley and former Portsmouth fans’ favourite Craig MacGillivray in the summer only went on to increase excitement in the Charlton ranks, with the likes of Ben Watson and Chris Gunter there to act as experienced heads in the dressing room.
But their defence has let them down so far this season, conceding 17 times in 10 league games and letting in four at home to Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday night.
Charlton boss Adkins has admitted this is a real area of concern that they need to address if they want to improve, saying this afternoon: “Our goals against tally is not good enough. Especially when you compare to last season.
“You can point to factors, but the fact is, our goals against tally is too high and we’ve got to address that collectively.”
Their defence has been extremely poor this season but Nigel Adkins is correct to point out that this issue needs to be dealt with by the whole team – and this unity is sorely needed at such a sticky time for the London-based side.
Defending from the front with the likes of Jayden Stockley could help to make all the difference in terms of their goals against tally, but the forwards also need to take some responsibility for their record going forward too.
They may have only failed to score on two occasions out of their ten league games thus far, but they have only scored ten in total. Whilst they may be an impressive sort of record for a defence, it certainly isn’t for the players like Stockley and Conor Washington who would have hoped to have made more of an impact.
Even if their defence improves, they aren’t going to go far in League One with a lack of potency up top, so several areas need to be addressed if they want to become more successful.
The international break could be vital in terms of this, but Adkins will need to win against Fleetwood this weekend or his time at The Valley is probably up. Many people are probably surprised he’s even been able to keep his job up until this point.