Charlton need to make use of subs much earlier in games

Former Charlton loanee Leroy Lita turns away in celebration after grabbing an 89th minute winner for the Owls. PICTURE BY KEITH GILLARD.

Former Charlton loanee Leroy Lita turns away in celebration after grabbing an 89th minute winner for the Owls. PICTURE BY KEITH GILLARD.

First published in Sport

ADDICKS columnist MATIAS GREZ this week again questions why Chris Powell waits so long to make changes in games following Saturday’s late surrender against Sheffield Wednesday.

SATURDAY’S 2-1 defeat against Sheffield Wednesday was one of the most gutting for a long time.

It was the manner in which the team lost that was so hard to take as Chris Powell’s old substitution tendencies reared their ugly head.

On a pitch so heavy it sapped the players’ energy, there was absolutely no excuse to leave it that late to bring on fresh legs.

The most frustrating factor of all was it took that six minute spell in which Powell’s men went from being 1-0 up to 2-1 down for him to realise he needed to make substitutions.

And even then he waited from the 89th to the 92nd minute to implement these changes.

It was another case of Powell’s inexperience showing through and I’d like to bet he was the only person in the stadium who couldn’t see that a substitution was desperately needed much, much earlier than the 92nd minute.

The attitude of team after going 1-0 up was very disappointing.

Whether the negative attitude was Powell’s influence or the doing of the players themselves is somewhat irrelevant, but if you sit back and defend for more than 40 minutes then you’re going to get what you deserve.

And before anybody questions it, yes I do think Powell is still the right man to take us forward – for now.

However, looking at the bigger picture the team has lost just once in five league matches and are sitting more than comfortably in mid-table, something all fans would have wished for at the start of the season.

Turning our attention to Crystal Palace on Saturday and we more than owe them after an abysmal performance at The Valley earlier this season saw the Eagles take three points from us and kick-start their promotion push.

Bradley Wright-Phillips’ wrongly disallowed goal is still infuriating to think about and I can’t think of a return fixture I’ve looked forward to more than this one.

Bradley Pritchard continues to grow on me by the game, in particular after he echoed the feelings of every Charlton fan in an interview earlier this week by saying the team were more than determined to make up for September’s pitiful showing.

Crystal Palace are playing the best football they have for as long as I can remember, with wingers Wilfried Zaha and Yannick Bolasie terrorising Championship defenders this season.

We can only hope the confirmation of Zaha moving to Manchester United is a big enough downer to affect the performance of the entire team.

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