Michael Appleton was pleased with the reaction he saw from his side in the second half as Corey Blackett-Taylor’s stoppage-time penalty claimed a point for the Addicks at Stevenage.
“The response that the players gave in the second half was outstanding,” he told CharltonTV. “There was only going to be one winner towards the end of the game and unfortunately we just couldn’t get that second goal.”
It had been a difficult first period for Charlton, which Appleton put down to his forward players not being able to retain the ball enough.
“There were so many times in the first half when the ball went into our strikers and we were a little bit flimsy,” said the Head Coach. “So I just said ‘listen, you need to show more of a presence in the game, you need to show me that you want it’. When I say presence and aggression, I don’t mean smashing into people - just having the courage to get on the ball and play forward.”
On another day the Addicks could have had four penalties, and Appleton was disappointed that his side didn’t get the rub of the green with some of the big decisions.
“Especially when you’re away from home, you need a little bit of help from the officials and they let us down quite a few times today,” he said.
When Charlton finally did get their penalty, Appleton was pleased with Blackett-Taylor’s calmness in a high-pressure moment. “It was a quiet game for him today to be fair, so for him to have the courage and discipline to know what he’s doing and pick his spot was impressive.”
The Addicks finished very strongly and the boss attributed that in part to the work done in training this week. “We trained hard this week and I’ve really upped the intensity in training.
“All the sport science lads keep telling me the load is more than what they’re used to, but my answer back to that is if we want to win games and we want to compete at the top end of this table then we have to do that.
“We were the ones coming really, really strong towards the end of the game and I reckon we could have played for another 10, 15 minutes.”
Despite coming to Hertfordshire in search of all three points, Appleton said his side have a lot to be pleased about.
“We have to be reasonably positive. There is a good feeling in the dressing room, because in those situations it's easy when you’re a little bit low in confidence to go down and get turned over.
"They never allowed that to happen and we got a reaction in the second half. We got a much better performance and hopefully they can see that going forward we can get many more of those types of performances.”
Appleton's first home game as Head Coach comes against Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday, September 23rd (KO 3pm BST). Click here to purchase your tickets.