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Charlton manager sees faith in Wilson rewarded at Wolves
CHRIS Powell praised Lawrie Wilson after his first goal for Charlton rescued a point at Wolves.
The Addicks were not at the races in the first half and could have few complaints about trailing at the interval to Bakary Sako’s 12th minute opener.
But it was a different story after the break as the visitors deservedly drew level in the 58th minute when Wilson converted from close range after Carl Ikeme had saved Rob Hulse’s initial effort.
Wilson has been playing in midfield in the last two games against Leeds and Wolves after stepping up from right back, a versatility Powell has always been keen to exploit since bringing the former Valley trainee back to SE7 from Stevenage in the summer.
The boss said: “He has done very well.
“He came in and I saw him as a right back but also I knew he had a season wide right for Stevenage.
“At times I watched him last year and knew he could do that dual role.
“I just looked at him and Chris Solly dove tailing together and they’ve done it very well in the last two games.
“He is a very underrated player I feel, Lawrie Wilson, and deservedly got his goal.
“He works very hard, leads by example and that is good for a young player. He was with us in his formative years as a young apprentice and scholar and I think he is really finding his feet now.
“It is a different scenario from Stevenage with regards to coming up to this league and there is a bit more expectation I suppose.
“I’m really pleased for him that he has shown some real qualities and real character and now he is off the mark as well, so it is good for him.”
And Powell was left to rue what might have been after Hulse almost won it at the death with a header that went agonisingly wide.
The manager said: “I’ve got to say Wolves were very good in the first period.
“Sako took his goal very well. We needed half-time but I felt we were a lot better, a lot sharper and there was a lot more tempo to our play in the second period.
“We deservedly got the goal I felt and then we had the match winning header. Ikeme made a good save from Rob Hulse earlier but the header I was really expecting the ball to be in the back of the net.
“But Rob was excellent for us today, very selfless.
“It is a lonely role playing up there on your own at times but I felt he played the role terrifically well.
“Sadly he just couldn’t get the goal that would have given us the three points.”
Powell added: “We are new to the league and when you go to Leeds United, especially on the back of a poor performance for us at home, and you get a point that maybe you should have turned into three and then you do exactly the same here at Wolves you kind of think it is going against you a bit.
“But that is where we’ve got to learn quickly about being clinical when those chances come.
“Tactically we’ve got it right in the two games and it sets us up for two home games coming up, Middlesbrough and Cardiff.
“I’ve got to be pleased with the character and the way they’ve turned it around in the second period because Wolves were definitely the better team in the first half.”
Powell also acknowledged his disappointment at today’s point was a sign of how far Charlton have come after three unwanted years in English football’s third tier.
“In some respects, yeah,” the Valley chief replied.
“Feeling disappointed about not getting three points against a side who last year were in the Premier League and we were in League One, I think it shows that we are moving in the right direction.
“It is a tougher league and it is about taking those chances and trying to be as clinical as you can because you don’t get many in this league, not as many as we got in League One.
“It is about converting them and performing the way we did but obviously trying to get your just rewards at the end of it.”
Charlton are 20th after today’s result and Powell accepts it has been a turbulent start to life back in the Championship with more than a quarter of the campaign gone, although he is looking up the table rather than downwards.
The gaffer explained: “It has been up and down for us, there is no lie in that because I think maybe we should have got a few more points - maybe two today, two against Leeds and one or two other games.
“But it is what it is and it is now about us taking on board what has happened to us so far with a quarter of the season gone and trying to improve on that and making sure that we start getting the points on board because obviously it can be a long winter.
“It is still very tight though.
“I do look at the league and think we are only two or three points from moving up seven or eight places.
“We’ve got to just hang in there and make sure that we try and turn these one point draws into three point wins.
“That’s all we can do.
“We’ve got to make sure we manage games better, improve and make sure now we start converting those draws into wins.”
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