BY LOUIS MENDEZ
Nigel Adkins admitted that his side didn’t show the quality required as their dreadful start to the season continued with a 2-1 loss at Wycombe Wanderers.
A brace from Gareth McCleary, the first coming just before half-time and the second twenty minutes from full-time, was enough for the Chairboys to record their first ever league victory over Charlton Athletic.
Sam Lavelle did halve the deficit in added-time and the Addicks nearly nicked a late leveller but it would have papered over the cracks of another disappointing display that had some fans in the away end at Adams Park calling for a change on manager.
Adkins said: “We knew it was going to be a challenging fixture because Gareth Ainsworth has done a great job here at Wycombe for many years. They’ve just come down from the Championship and have a way of playing that is difficult to play against. I’ve changed the formation to try and deal with that. Everyone could see the ball was coming forward and we had to deal with that. For the first half an hour we did really well. For me, we knew they were going to press onto us.
“Could we bypass that press and dink the ball over the top? Maybe we didn’t do it with the quality we needed to do. And likewise, maybe there’s an opportunity to play through and maybe we didn’t do that as well as we could have done. Gareth McCleary scores a goal bang on half-time that changes the complexation of the game. We’ve come out and from my point of view the introduction of Corey Blackett-Taylor was really good, Pape [Souare] has done really well there in the time that he’s played. It’s his first start for us. We know we’ve got several players who aren’t ready to play 90 minutes of football yet.”
“We’ve had a late rally towards the end, great header from Sam Lavelle and there was some oohs and aahs then where things maybe didn’t drop but unfortunately, we’re on the wrong side of a 2-1 score line again.
“I think you’ve got to turn around and look at the opposition because you know they’re going to press. Gareth’s team are not going to allow five seconds on the ball. When we do get it, have we got the quality to bypass that? That’s something we still have to work on.”
“That’s football,” added the Charlton boss when asked about the unrest amongst the travelling support.
“We’re all aware of that. The fans on the large have been excellent and getting behind the players. I understand the frustration because Charlton, we need to be getting out of this division. We need to be winning every game that we go and play but we haven’t done that today. You could see the supporters were right behind the team but when we’ve gone behind it makes it more challenging. That’s what happens, it’s human nature. How do we get around it? We’re back in again tomorrow. We’ve got an honest, hard-working group of players and we’ve all just got to get ourselves ready for the next game.”
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