Michael Appleton said his side’s exit from the FA Cup in the second round at the hands of Gillingham was difficult to take.
The Addicks were unbeaten in seven coming into the game and Appleton said he didn’t want the poor performance to undermine the progress made since he’s taken charge.
“It was a difficult one for me,” he told CharltonTV following the 2-0 loss. “We were just second best in a lot of areas of the pitch. Early on in the game there were probably four or five players who were always second to the ball, always inbetween positions, didn’t play forward and we weren’t aggressive enough and we paid the price and gave away a couple of poor goals, which is one thing.
“Even coming in at half-time, I’m always positive from that point of view because the reality is we’ve got 50 minutes to try and get back into the game. We’re very strong normally in the second half of games and we didn’t do enough. We had a lot of territory in that second half but I can’t remember their keeper making too many saves. I don’t know how many times the ball came into the box and we weren’t getting the first contact.
“It was a difficult one, a strange day, not one that will live long in the memory. Having said that, I’ve got to be careful because pretty much what is in that dressing room there is us now until January, they probably need a bit of picking up after today because there is a few of the younger ones that suffered massively. The one thing I would say is we’ve got a game midweek to try and address that before the seriousness starts again next Saturday.”
The loss was Charlton’s first since losing to Bolton Wanderers in October and Appleton explained he is expecting his side to respond once again.
He said: “We will [respond]. We’ve done it before and we’ll do it again. I’m mindful that the players have been good for me for the first few months of me being here and that’s only our third defeat in 17 games which takes some doing.
“I’m really, really disappointed. I can stand here and massively overreact but I’m going to try not to do that. I’ve probably done that a little bit in the dressing room to a degree. We’ve got to move on quickly because it is done now. I think it is a good thing for us having a game midweek. We don’t have the opportunity to stew on it.”