CHARLTON manager Chris Powell has told his side to be more ruthless following today’s 2-1 defeat at old rivals Crystal Palace.

It was one way traffic in the first half as Charlton completely dominated the game, taking the lead after quarter of an hour through Ricardo Fuller and then squandering a host of gilt-edged chances.

They paid the price late on when a Kevin Phillips inspired Palace snatched two late goals through Glenn Murray, leaving a deeply disappointed Powell to reflect on what might have been had Charlton got that crucial second goal.

He said: “Of course you want that because it puts you in an even stronger position, because I felt we put them on the back foot and really caught them cold.

“They couldn’t really handle Ricardo Fuller and the way we broke from midfield but you do need to take them, even at this level.

“We talk about the Premier League – one chance and it is in the back of the net.

“I think even at Championship level you do need to take the chances that arise and the chances that you make and we didn’t do that.”

Despite the defeat, Powell was still taking plenty of positivity from the start to the game made by his side.

He explained: “I would say the first half, and even the first hour, it was some of the best stuff we’ve played.

“But of course you need to convert your chances when they come and we needed to take more than the one we got because you knew there would be a response from Palace.

“Someone like Murray, who has been scoring goals all season, eventually got his chances and he took them.

“It is tough to take because it would be quite easy to forget about how well we played in that first half/first 60 minutes.

“It was a proper local derby, chances at both ends and just a body blow for us that we didn’t come out on top.”

This is the second consecutive weekend the Addicks have let a one-goal lead slip late on following last Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat to Sheffield Wednesday and Powell conceded it was hard to take again.

He said: “How disheartening? I think it is quite obvious with regards to how it has gone in the last two games and how they’ve panned out after being in strong positions but I’ve just said to my group ‘we’ve got to learn from this, we really have’.

“If you come to a place like Palace, or even when you are playing at home, all people see at five o’clock is the result regardless of how you played.

“We need to start seeing games out and managing the situation when we come under a bit of pressure because that’s always going to happen.

“Teams are going to throw caution to the wind and you are going to have to be able to withstand that regardless of formations.

“It hurts after having such a good January and then following on from last week it is a very similar pattern and we need to arrest that straight away.”

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