Olly Groome reports from The Valley
Karl Robinson praised the spirit of players after they impressed in Tuesday evening’s 1-1 draw with promotion-chasing Bradford City at The Valley.
Charlton took the lead through Jorge Teixeira in an otherwise difficult first-half for the hosts, while Timothee Dieng equalised for the Bantams before the break.
But, backed by a boisterous Valley crowd, the Addicks emerged for the second half with purpose, with every player in a red shirt running themselves into the ground for the cause.
Indeed, they were desperately unlucky not to come away with all three points as the much better side.
Speaking to the media following the draw, Robinson said: "I think the players are now understanding what it takes to play here. My players showed everyone in the stadium that they care and they wore the shirt with pride.
“I was so frustrated in the first half. I didn’t even celebrate our goal because it was so much against the run of play.
“Off the back or a long run of games, we’re physically on our knees and we played every player that was fit to start over the age of 21 because that’s all we had.
“We deserved more for the second-half performance,” he continued.
“They are the best team that have come to The Valley since I’ve been here. I thought their two strikers were superb and they were physically very good at the back.”
“It’s been a difficult few weeks, but the players’ mentality and desire in the second half was fantastic.
“I can forgive an error, a poor pass or misses, and there was loads today, and I think the fans can as well, but the one thing they can’t forgive is a lack of effort and every player who wore the shirt today certainly gave us that.
“Poor Ricky Holmes was almost dead on his feet. He’s been a credit to this football club.”
The Addicks’ boss was also quick to praise the support from the terraces which, he believed, gave his side the extra energy they needed.
“When this Valley gets going, it’s like an injection of adrenaline and the players look like they’ve got this youthful energy,” he explained.
“That’s the inspiration that the fans can give you and the players can also give supporters great hope and expectation for where we want to go in the future months and, hopefully, years.”
Meanwhile, Robinson said he would have to wait to find out the extent of Lewis Page’s injury after the defender limped off in the 71st minute.
He said: “I was right in front of him and heard him scream when he went down. He’s had a very difficult time since he’s come here and a lot of people will give him criticism because he’s been injured an awful lot.
“He has to find that run of games to keep himself fit, but we’ll see how he is in the next few days.”
Robinson added: “Jason Pearce is getting fit, Jake Forster-Caskey is back fit again, Ezri Konsa made it in the end, Jordan Botaka was back fit in the squad, Solls [Chris Solly] is a couple of weeks away and Josh Magennis is coming back to fitness.”
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