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Charlton defender determined to avoid drop
Michael Morrison admits he will feel the responsibility of relegation more than most if Charlton do end up going down.
Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Derby left the Addicks just outside the dreaded drop zone on goal difference, although they do still have two games in hand on third from bottom Barnsley.
Central defender Morrison has been an ever present in what has been a turbulent year for the SE7 outfit, leaving him to concede if the worst possible outcome happens and the club head back to League One it will reflect badly on him.
“Yes, more so than most people,” he said.
“I’ve played in every minute of the season so obviously if we do get relegated it will be a really difficult time for me.
“I’ll be really disappointed but I don’t think it is the case.
“We’ve got games in hand, it is in our own hands. We’ve shown in the last six games we can put some decent results together.
“Sometimes the two draws we got could have turned into wins and it would be a bit different so we are all sticking together.
“Until that last minute of the season goes we will all be putting 100 percent effort in to keep the club up where it should be.”
Saturday’s 3-0 setback at the Rams came just seven days after the Addicks were beaten by the same score against another of the promotion hopefuls, Burnley.
There was a welcome 1-0 win at Nottingham Forest in between but Morrison feels Charlton’s fate will not be determined by the two 3-0 reversals at the hands of high-flyers.
He said: “They (Derby) are a good side and they showed that today.
“We got the three points at Forest and were going into it with a bit of confidence but they are not towards the top of the league for no reason and they showed their qualities.
“I don’t think we are going to be relegated on the fact we’ve lost against these sides (Derby and Burnley).
“There’s bigger games coming up and they are almost like your bonus games where you try and get points from.
“We got points against QPR and these are ones where they are extra points.
“They can really help but I don’t think we are going to get relegated from losing at Derby County.
“We’ve got some important games coming up.
“Leeds on Tuesday is more than a winnable game and we’ve got to go out there and put a show on to get the three points.”
Charlton could have few complaints going in 2-0 down at the break at Derby, although things did improve in the second half, leaving Morrison even more annoyed to let in a third to Chris Martin so late on.
“Obviously we needed to push further forward, we pushed Obika and Sordell up front together.
“I think that made a difference and we really did give it a go. We got a sucker punch at the end with 3-0 but we gave it a little go without causing too many problems.
“We were starting to get on the front foot and more than matched them in the second half.
“It was disappointing to concede the goal at the end.”
Overall Charlton have certainly improved defensively under Jose Riga, leaving Morrison to accept the recent pair of 3-0 losses have taken the gloss off their recent upturn in fortunes.
He said: “That’s what makes the third goal so frustrating because we know 2-0 looks a bit more respectable obviously than 3-0 and sort of wastes all the hard work and the clean sheets that the team have put in.
“It could come down to goal difference.
“We haven’t scored too many goals so we have in the last few weeks really took pride in the clean sheets.
“It has been unfortunate that in the two defeats to Burnley and Derby that we have conceded too many and it has sort of knocked all that good work back, but we are always looking for clean sheets and that will be the building block for winning games.”
On what difference Riga has made, Morrison added: “I think we have retained the ball in the last few games, a bit more possession maybe in their half.
“Certainly against Forest we had more possession and I think that has put less pressure on the back four or five to be defending all the time.
“That might be a reason why we look more attacking and that’s probably meant we’ve not been defending for long periods in the game. That’s helped the back four.”
Barnsley’s 4-1 win at Yeovil means the relegation issue remains as tense as ever, although Morrison is at least pleased Charlton’s destiny remains their own.
He said: “It is in our hands at the moment so it is about worrying about ourselves.
“I’d be lying to say that after the game you didn’t check everybody else’s results because it is that time of year, everybody does it whether you are at the top or bottom.
“As long as it is in our hands and is our responsibility then that’s all we can ask for, and if we don’t do it then it is our own fault.
“We can’t blame it on anyone else, you can’t ask for somebody else to lose games, it is whether we win and we will go out there and do that.”
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