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Powell accepts Charlton are in relegation scrap after Rams defeat
CHRIS Powell acknowledged his goal-shy Charlton side are in a relegation dogfight after Saturday’s 2-0 loss to Derby at The Valley.
The Addicks started well but looked disheartened after 32 minutes when Jamie Ward’s 25-yard free-kick took a huge deflection and wrong-footed home keeper Ben Alnwick.
Try as they might to draw level, there was a clear lack of attacking threat from Charlton as they failed to break through the Derby defence before Craig Bryson’s late finish made it 2-0.
The loss leaves Charlton just one place and one point above the relegation zone ahead of this weekend’s trip to Bolton.
Charlton now have the worst offensive record in the league and after the game Powell admitted his team will have to fight their way out of trouble.
“Things are just not happening for us and we have got to do our best to try and break that because we know that we are in a dogfight,” the manager said.
“We understand that and the reality of that is we are where we are and we have got to do our best to move on up.
“But it’s not easy and the players have given me and given the fans everything they have got.”
For large parts of the match Charlton made Derby, the form side in the league, look distinctly average.
But it was the sixth time they had failed to score in a home fixture this season and Powell was left frustrated yet again.
“It’s a tough one to take again for us,” he said.
“I felt we got our shape and tactics right for a good half an hour until the deflected goal.
“Once we conceded it gives them an impetus to push on and Ben Alnwick made a very good save to keep it at 1-0 at half-time.”
A marginally improved Addicks side came out in the second half and did put Derby under a certain amount of pressure.
But it was not enough and Charlton failed to find the equaliser, despite Michael Morrison going agonisingly close with a header.
“The players did their best to try and turn it around,” said Powell.
“We need something to break the cycle for us in the respect of converting chances.
“At 1-0 Morrison has a header that 99 percent of the time he would normally score.
“He is a decent player in the opposition box but heads it wide.
“I just felt that in the final third we had a couple of crosses flashed across and Lee Grant made a couple of comfortable saves.
“We should have gone in level, not a doubt.
“But it didn’t happen so we had to get on with it and sadly we just couldn’t make the breakthrough in the end.”
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