Charlton manager Nigel Adkins shared his thoughts as his Charlton side concluded the League One campaign by defeating champions Hull City 1-0.
The victory, however, was not enough to secure a top-six finish owing to Oxford United’s 4-0 triumph over Burton Albion, with the Addicks missing out on the play-offs on goal difference.
Speaking post-match, Adkins said: “Well the big thing is we won the game which is the important thing to start off with. We played the champions. Great credit to Grant McCann, Hull City and everybody because after relegation it’s always difficult to bounce back. They were champions and they put the full hit out today; they wanted to break their club record [points tally] and that was a real competitive game.
“In the first 20 minutes you could see how good they are. We played a 1-4-4-2 looking to stop them because they play out from the back and we tried to stop that. The diagonal balls were giving us all sorts of problems but I must say when I changed the formation we were far better. We were able to get a grip of the ball and play.
“We’ve won the game 1-0. We could’ve scored a couple more and who knows where that could’ve taken us, but ultimately it was out of our hands. It was always going to be difficult to score five, six, seven goals against the champions. I was pleased with the way we played in the second half and the way we responded to the first 20 minutes and how Hull were playing. We adapted and we created some more chances in a controlled way. I thought [Liam] Millar and [Ian] Maatsen down that left hand side in the second half looked exceptional - both players are on loan from Premier League clubs and you can see that bit of class.”
Since the manager’s arrival in SE7, Charlton have accumulated 19 points from a possible 30 with just one defeat.
“We’ve had 10 games since I’ve joined. Thanks to all the staff, the players and everybody - the supporters have been great. We’ve lost once since I’ve been in charge and that was our best performance against another team that got promoted in Peterborough.
“We just didn’t put the ball in the back of the net. We look at the possession stats and how we built the play was really, really good but unfortunately we’ve not gone and got enough goals or points to be in the play-off position. Now that we know what division we are in we can reflect and debrief but obviously look to go and build now on the 10 games in the short space of time I’ve been here and build with the owner and we can keep moving forward.”
Adkins also provided an update on the situation concerning contracts, with several players’ deals expiring in the coming weeks.
“The players will have tomorrow off now and I’ve said that. All players will be back in on Tuesday and then through the course of the week there’ll be conversations - they know that. People need to know where they stand and what’s happening, and that’s what we’ll address through the course of the week.
“I’ll have conversations with the players before anybody else knows what’s going on and maybe come the end of the week you’ll have more of an idea because I know you’ll all be thinking: ‘Who’s on the retain list? Who’s not on the retain list?’ Now is not the day for that conversation.
“The lads have given everything and you can see that. What we’ve got to do now that we know what division we’re in is work as a football club with the owner and the recruitment side of it to put a team together to start pre-season. We can work through that and then challenge the snakes and ladders of the football league, the emotions, the ups and downs and see if we can put ourselves in a position to be where Hull City are standing now with the trophy.”
Article by James Waller