Lee Bowyer said his side were “not good enough from start to finish” in a 3-1 loss to Stoke City at the bet365 Stadium.
The Potters took an early lead through James McClean before a brilliant leveller from Ben Purrington on the stroke of half time. Tom Ince struck immediately after the break and Nick Powell added a third as Charlton chased the game.
Speaking to the press following the game Bowyer said: “It was not good enough from start to finish. They were better than us first half, they took the lead deservedly so and then we changed it around a bit, put Andre up top with Lyle and I thought we scored a good goal. Then we can’t come out in the second half and play and defend the way we did.
“There were too many players that weren’t at it today, that’s the reality. It was nowhere near as good as they can play. I said to the players there that we have a squad that have to be at their very best to compete and today we weren’t and that’s why we lost by two goals but we go again.”
The Charlton manager was quick to praise the opposition saying: “Stoke should never be where they are in the league, not with the players they’ve got and they showed that today. You have to be at your best, you have to do the right things, the basics right and today we didn’t.”
Bowyer was particularly frustrated by the nature of the opening goal, a tap in from James McClean from a Stoke free kick: “Set pieces, it’s the basics of the game, that frustrates me so much because they had worked hard, ok Stoke had the possession but they didn’t really look like they were going to hurt us and then a set piece sets you back. We scored a good goal to level it up and then the second one is a defensive mistake. Then you’re chasing the game then.”
The Addicks will train tomorrow ahead of Tuesday’s game at Nottingham Forest. Bowyer said: “There aren’t any bad teams in this division and you have to earn any point you get. We’re no different, we have to get ourselves ready, dust ourselves down, we’ll be in tomorrow getting ready and preparing for Forest."
Bowyer's full post-game interview will be available on Valley Pass shortly.