The atmosphere around the training ground was pretty bleak after the opening day loss against Reading. We knew that we needed to improve next weekend against Charlton if we wanted to be challenging at the top end of the table and some changes would be made for that game.
The defence was pretty shoddy, with most of the attacks coming down our left-hand side so that needs to be rectified. They need to sit a little deeper, mark the dangermen closer and keep the doors shut. We also need to convert more of our chances, we get plenty and we have plenty of the ball so we need to use that to our advantage.
So here’s the team this week:
Just one change, Aaron Taylor-Sinclair in for Andrew Taylor at left-back. Taylor was pretty awful, hopefully the new signing Taylor-Sinclair could be double the name, double the performance. Same style of tactics except using Ben Watson as more of a playmaker from deep and from that we should get a bigger contribution from our front men.
We kick off, we take control of the ball early on and within the first seven minutes, we find a breakthrough.
It’s Callum McManaman again! He is put through behind the defence to neatly finish beyond the reach of Stephen Henderson, his second of the season. It’s a great start yet again, we’ve deserved that and hopefully we can build from here. The first-half ends without much incident after that, a few more half chances for our side but we are certainly on top heading into the break.
I told Gary Caldwell to stick on Igor Vetokele, keep him quiet and let’s get a clean sheet and let’s get the three points today.
“Okay, Boss” was the reply, he better do.
Second half begins, we are a little more on the back-foot here as Charlton are coming back into it, as you could expect, and they get away a few good chances. I ask the defence to drop a little, they were get in behind and that was asking for trouble. Trouble we were soon to get.
They scored an equaliser on the 65th minute, Vetokele. The same player I told Caldwell to mark, the defence to drop deep for, got himself loose and in behind to slot underneath Ali Al-Habsi. Do you ever feel that it goes in one ear and right out the other?
It’s an incident packed last ten minutes, Vetokele was close to a second, as was McManaman but we have a corner with a minute to go.
And Cowie heads the ball…
And misses. Game over, 1-1, it’s a point from Charlton.
Honestly, this was a poor result. The stats were our way, the better chances went our way but the defence didn’t listen again and they let us down. In the end, it could have gone either way and that’s not what we wanted, we wanted to win this one.
Cardiff is this week’s midweek game leading into Blackpool on Saturday, the games are starting to come thick and fast so we need to start racking up points or we can expect wholesale changes in who starts for this team.