Appleton frustration at Burton loss

Michael Appleton looks on

Michael Appleton was disappointed that his team were not able to capitalise on a strong first-half performance as they were beaten 2-0 at Burton Albion on Saturday afternoon.

“There’s a little bit of frustration in there because of how well we played in the first half and the numerous opportunities we created,” he told CharltonTV.

The Addicks dominated the first period but went in a goal behind, and their mood was dampened further when Brewers skipper John Brayford doubled the home side’s lead two minutes after half-time.

“The timing of the goal in the second half, and the way the goal came about, was a sucker punch and really took the sting out of us,” said the boss.

“The biggest issue was we stopped passing the ball forward in the second half. That comes down to character and responsibility,” he added. “There were too many players in the group who had opportunities to pass the ball forward – we’ve got two strikers in there, two willing runners – but turned those opportunities down.

“It looked far too comfortable for them to see the game out in the second half than what I would have liked.”

The gaffer was also frustrated by the manner in which his side had conceded the first goal.

“From a defensive point of view, I think you’ve got to try and make the goal smaller, not bigger. In those moments, first and foremost, we’ve got to be braver when we engage,” he said.

“That caused us an issue against Peterborough. We spoke about it, about making the goal as small as you can to give Ash the best opportunity and angle to make a save. To get done on it again today was a big disappointment.”

Ahead of the home game against Northampton Town on Tuesday, the boss took positives from the performances of some his new signings.

“We believe the players that we’ve brought in are an upgrade on what we have in the building, not to be disrespectful,” he explained. “They think of themselves as Championship players. So they’ll get the opportunity to come in and prove that.”

Appleton is already desperate to get back in action and put today’s result right.

“The reality is, when you get a result like we have today, it’s okay saying it’d be nice to have a week on the training pitch but for me personally – and I fully hope and expect that the players have got the same attitude – Tuesday can’t come quick enough.”

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