George Jones reports from the Northern Commercials Stadium
Karl Robinson praised his side for showing two sides to their game in Saturday’s goalless draw at Bradford City.
The Addicks played some impressive, attacking football in the first half, and were denied the opening goal on three separate occasions when Jordan Botaka hit the crossbar, when Josh Magennis struck the inside of the post and when the latter had a shot cleared off the line.
After the break, Bradford improved, though, and a solid, defensive performance ensured that Charlton – who lost Patrick Bauer to a 90th-minute red card – returned to London with their point.
And Robinson says that there is a lot that his new side can build upon.
“In the first-half, we were outstanding,” he said. “I thought we should have had a penalty after seven minutes when Josh Magennis came inside and was brought down.
“The way we passed in the first half was excellent; aggressive through the thirds and we picked them off at will, at times.
“Josh, in particular, was superb in the first 45 minutes and he just didn’t get that goal that his performance deserved.
“From then on in, it was about rolling our sleeves up and fighting for our club. Every single one of our players did that.
“The response that we got of the supporters at the end, I think they knew that we came here to try and win the game. I couldn’t have asked for any more from the players. Charlton means so much to our fans and the lads gave everything for them today.”
The Addicks were without a number of first-team regular for the match, with injury and illness having swept through the squad.
They were then dealt another early blow when Jason Pearce sustained a groin injury in the first minute, and Robinson hailed his squad’s character and mental strength for not letting the setbacks affect them.
He said: “I’ve got a bit of the bug as well. When you work so hard all week and when you’re confined to small spaces, as you are in football, then when one person gets it, it can spread very fast.
“The players’ mentality was fantastic and the performance that they put in for all of those at home, I think they’ll look at it and say ‘thank you and when I’m back I want to build on it’.”
He added: “Coming here with no Declan Rudd, no Chris Solly, no Ricky Holmes, no Morgan Fox, no Ademola Lookman, no Jason Pearce after two minutes, we still tried to win.”
Robinson also singled out fledgling goalkeeper Dillon Phillips, who made a couple of crucial saves to secure his second clean sheet in as many games.
“Dillon is unlucky because he has the best goalkeeper in the league in Declan Rudd ahead of him. When you come in, you have got to perform and Dillon has been superb.
“His kicking, his talking, his shot stopping, has been brilliant and I am so, so proud of him.”
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