CHRIS Powell was not shy in criticising his team’s first half display following last night’s 2-2 FA Cup third round draw against Oxford United at The Valley.
Charlton trailed 2-0 at the break before a Michael Morrison header and Yann Kermorgant’s late volley earned them a replay, which will be played next Tuesday at the Kassam Stadium.
Powell was celebrating his third year anniversary as Addicks boss, but afterwards informed his players that he never wants to see them perform like that again.
“That could be the worst 45 minutes I have seen from us since I have been manager here,” said the boss.
“We were nowhere near any of our standards, I let them know that because it wasn’t acceptable.
“The crowd obviously showed their disappointment (at half-time), which was absolutely correct, but they turned it around and we could have won it at the end.
“We needed Michael’s goal, and we needed it quite early, but I really did not enjoy the first half.
“I will keep coming back to that. We looked like a side that hadn’t played for a while and of course we hadn’t, because of all the postponements in the league and cup.
“Michael’s header was very much needed and then it was just a case of keep knocking at the door.
“We played some better football after the break and did the basics correctly – because we couldn’t even do them right in the first half.”
Powell fielded a strong side and refused to identify the mud-bath Valley pitch as a factor in the dismal first half performance.
He said: “I just put it down to us not being right from 7.45pm to 8.30pm, simple as that.
“We just didn’t compete or play with any tempo.
“I didn’t ask any questions at half-time. I did all the talking and they responded.
“Any manager will tell you that if you get a response you will always be a lot happier.
“I have to give them some credit, they showed a lot of courage, and after the break we played with a bit more tempo.”
Powell added: “It was more of a 14-man display because I thought the three subs made a bit of an impact.
“Young Callum Harriott could have scored at the end, and Danny Green made the goal for Yann.
“We attacked them more in the second half and we should have done it for 90 minutes but clearly we didn’t.
“We are still in the cup, and we have to go to Oxford and go again. We have another chance to put it right, and we have gone some way to putting it right with the second half display.”
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