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Powell: We deserved to win at Birmingham
CHARLTON manager Chris Powell was left to ponder what might have been after Nikola Zigic’s injury time equaliser denied Charlton an opening day victory at Birmingham yesterday.
The Addicks had missed a host of chances before Leon Cort headed home what looked likely to be the winning goal on 82 minutes.
However, substitute Zigic came off the bench to strike deep into stoppage time, much to the frustration of the Valley boss and his team.
“I think we certainly did deserve to win,” said Powell.
“I know we’ve got 45 games to go but I thought my team certainly put down a marker, not to other teams but for themselves and our supporters wondering what it is going to be like in the Championship.
“You need to instil your confidence and belief straight away and from minute one we played our part in a real pulsating game.
“Succumbing to a late, late equaliser is tough but it is our first point, we are on the board and we go into Tuesday’s game with real good heart.
“There shouldn’t be any disappointment because we really displayed what Charlton is all about today.”
He added: “I was really pleased with what they showed in the first half.
“Of course what you want to do when you go up another level is be clinical and we had four good chances, close ones with headers just over the bar.
“I felt Bradley Wright-Phillips was pulled when he got in one-v-one, the referee didn’t give it. We are going to have to learn quickly and try and take our chances but enjoy our football.
“I think to a man they were excellent, they all played their part.
“Young Jordan Cook came on and was involved in the goal.
“Matt Taylor came on because we knew Zigic would be quite a handful for us but I’m really pleased we’ve shown everyone today, not only our own supporters but the Birmingham public and watching neutrals that we are really going to make our mark this year.
“We are going to make sure we go for it.”
League One champions Charlton certainly didn’t look out of place in the Championship on yesterday’s evidence, something which certainly didn’t come as any surprise to the manager.
Powell explained: “I know everyone was expecting us to bring in loads of players and what have you but I’ve just tinkered and I will always tinker.
“But I’ve got some Championship players here, I knew that last year for definite.
“They just need a chance, they need a run of games and they need to grow as footballers in this league.
“If they don’t get the confidence from today they never will.
“We are going to play other teams of course but the good thing about today was this was one of the fancied teams.
“They’ve got a good manager and they’ve played to the best of their abilities and we were in there all game.
“We want three points and we always go for it but I’m sure all of our supporters would have said a 1-1 draw at Birmingham would have been a good result.
“It is just the way it happened.”
Powell also praised defender Cort for his goal.
He said: “It is about time Leon scored because he is a threat.
“Defensively he is a colossus for us but also in the other box we’ve been saying he has got to get on the end of things.
“He is a good header of the ball, he has got presence but him and Michael Morrison defended tremendously well with the two full-backs.
“I’ve got no problems with those four.
“Ben Hamer I thought was really assured when he came for crosses.
“The team as a whole all played their part today but they’re all really hurting that they conceded.
“We want clean sheets, we know that is going to help us in our quest to do things this season.”
Powell was also keen to pay tribute to the 1,637 Addicks fans who headed to the West Midlands to cheer on their heroes.
“I was shocked coming out,” the manager said.
“They always surprise me this mob but I couldn’t believe the amount of numbers we had singing from the first minute, backing the team and the boys take heart from that.
“I’m just disappointed for them they’re going home not getting the three points.
“That’s tough but that’s football.”
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