Chris Powell admitted Leicester City were the best team his Charlton side had faced all season after Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at the King Power Stadium.
Goals from Jamie Vardy, David Nugent and Danny Drinkwater gave the Foxes another impressive home win against the Addicks, with Powell suggesting the game was perhaps one too many for his tiring side.
The Valley boss said: “It’s the end of a tough week for us and coming to the league leaders after the week we’ve had is not really the fixture we would’ve wanted.
“They’re a phenomenal side, we had one or two situations and if you take them it’s a different story.
“But they’re the best side we’ve played against.
“I’d say we’ve played against the champions elect today.”
However, the Charlton manager was annoyed at how the first goal came about so early on in the game.
David Nugent broke free of the visiting defence on nine minutes and squared for strike partner Jamie Vardy, who escaped the lineman’s flag, side-stepped Rhoys Wiggins and beat Ben Hamer.
“I’m quite disappointed though because the first goal looks offside,” said Powell.
“Maybe we could have gone in at 0-0 at the break. That could have got their tails up.
“But then they scored early in the second half and then it was a case of making sure that we came away without getting badly beaten, and I suppose I’ve got to be happy with 3-0 in the end.”
Playing three games in the space of week undoubtedly took its toll on a weary looking Charlton side, but they now have a welcome eight-day break before Sunday’s FA quarter-final at Sheffield United.
Victory at Bramall Lane would see the Addicks through to the semi-finals at Wembley, but Powell recognises the league must remain the number one priority.
He added: “We entered the cup as a bonus competition and now we find ourselves in the last eight.
“We’ll be looking to progress to the last four. We have a clear week now before next Sunday.
“We’ve got to make sure we’re ready for the league as well as the cup and make sure we remain a Championship club.”
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