Fleming: 'We're getting punished for mistakes'

Curtis Fleming on the touchline

Interim manager Curtis Fleming rued the individual mistakes which proved the difference on Saturday afternoon, as the Addicks fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat at home to Derby County.

“The curse of making a mistake and getting punished struck again,” he told local media after the game. “Three of the chances they had in the first half were from us. In the Blackpool game, eight chances and four of them came from us.”

“I was disappointed with the goal,” he continued. “I liked the way we shook ourselves off and went again, but we can’t keep conceding goals like that.”

Referring to a loose pass from Macauley Gillesphey which led to the Rams’ goal, Fleming said: “If that ball had gone in and Conor [Coventry] takes it and switches it 40 yards, we’d have all gone ‘great’. But it didn’t, and at the moment we’re getting punished for mistakes.”

It was a tough one to take for Charlton, who otherwise put in a solid performance. “I thought we played some really good stuff,” said the boss. “But we had a couple of opportunities to put the ball in the box and we didn’t. A couple of times where strikers are looking for it and it bounces up off them.”

“If you’d come down from the moon and you look at the game today you wouldn’t think it was a team who are fourth and a team that are 18th. That’s a 50:50 game, but they found a way to win and that’s what they have been doing.”

It has been a difficult period for the Addicks, but according to Fleming the first step is acknowledging the situation.

“It’s the big elephant in the room,” he said. “It’s something that we have to talk about. We can’t keep scooting around it. I can’t keep saying that we worked hard and we showed endeavour. I love that, and they’re a brilliant honest group, but we’ve got to find a way to win games.”

Fleming also stressed the need for maintaining a fighting spirit in the squad. “The name of the club and the quality of the squad doesn’t get you out,” he explained. “Nothing’s a gimme in League One. You need to galvanise a team and you need those workers and those solid citizens who are going to go out and get you those results.”

“It’s about dusting ourselves off and getting ready. And then saying to everybody: ‘Are you ready? Are you ready for the fight? And if you’re not, no worries. We’ll get someone who is.’”

Finally, ahead of an important seven days for the Addicks, Fleming was keen to state that next Saturday’s game against Reading will not define Charlton’s season.

“It’s a big week ahead,” he said. “But there’s going to be a few big weeks before we get there because next Saturday is not going to be the be all and end all. This is going to go down to the wire.”

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