Appleton: 'Reading game very different to Saturday'

Michael Appleton looks on

Michael Appleton was mostly pleased with his side’s showing on Wednesday night despite their exit on penalties from the Bristol Street Motors Trophy at the hands of Reading.

“I’m disappointed to go out, but not in terms of performance, effort and attitude,” he told CharltonTV. “Tonight’s game was very different to Saturday. We were poor on Saturday - I didn’t think that was the case tonight.

“In that first half I felt very relaxed. I felt we were on the front foot when we needed to be. The transition work was good.”

The Addicks ended the 90 minutes with a number of young players on the pitch. While it provided excellent experience, Appleton attributes his side’s slight drop-off to a lack of the know-how you get from senior players.

“Having to make the substitutions hurt us tonight,” he explained. “We seemed to sort of lose our rhythm, lose our control a little bit on the game. And they grew into it in the latter stages.”

In particular, Lloyd Jones and George Dobson had to come off with minor injury issues. The boss was quick to reassure supporters that their withdrawals were precautionary.

“Lloyd got a knock to his foot on Saturday. He felt fine before the game - it was just getting a little bit sore as the game got older,” he said. “Dobbo felt his groin a little bit. He seems to be reasonably confident it will be fine for Saturday.”

The youth did not only come from the bench tonight. 18-year-old Henry Rylah made his full debut for the clu, and Appleton was impressed.

“I think Henry was great. He was a threat in behind and he really stretched them at times. Yes, he’s a little bit raw - we know that. But he’s got incredible pace, and that does scare the life out of teams.”

It has been a difficult couple of games for Charlton, exiting two cup competitions, but the Head Coach chose to focus on the positive. There are no more distractions from his side’s ultimate goal: league success.

“There’s no excuses now,” he said. “Our focus will be absolutely 100 per cent on the league.”

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