Charlton’s new signing Oguchi Onyewu was happy to make his debut in last night’s thrilling 2-2 draw at Leeds United.

Alex Mowatt had twice given Leeds a goal advantage from outside the area in the second half.

However, his strikes were matched by two equalisers from Johann Gudmundsson.

Firstly, the Icelandic midfielder managed to squeeze a shot in at Marco Silvestri’s near post, before his second equaliser came from the penalty spot after Tal Ben Haim had been hauled down by Tommaso Bianchi at a corner. 

American Onyewu, a central defender by trade, was thrown into action by Bob Peeters with 13 minutes remaining at Elland Road as Charlton trailed 2-1.

With the Addicks desperately searching for an equaliser, the Belgian head coach sent the 6ft4in former AC Milan man up front in a bid to cause disruption in the Leeds back line.

And the big central defender turned target man thought the change helped turn the game back in Charlton’s favour.

Onyewu said: “We imposed on them a little bit and to be fair I don’t think they were as physical as we can be.

“We capitalised on that strength that we have and we were able to get that penalty that we needed.

“The foul for the penalty was called on Tal, but I think at that phase they were fouling a lot of us at the same time so you could have picked and chosen any of us. 

“I’m happy that we were able to convert the penalty and get the point that we needed away from home.”

The 32-year-old admitted it was not the first occasion in his career he’s been required to play an attacking role to try and salvage something from a game.

“At times I’ve played at the end of games when my teams have been down,” Onyewu said.

“I’m here for the service of the club, so if they need me up there I’ll play up there.

“When he was putting me on, I figured at that point somebody would be going up top just because we were down.

“It’s not the first time I’ve been put up top in the last 10 or 15 minutes of a game as a target man and try to play that role.”

Left-back Rhoys Wiggins was forced off injured after a collision in the build up to Charlton’s second goal, meaning the Addicks were forced to see out the latter stages with only 10 men as all their substitutes had been used.

Onyewu felt this gave his new side a difficult task at the end of the game but was proud of their resilience.

“It got a little be complicated when we went down a player due to injury but we were able to stick together and get the result that we needed.

“I tried to do as much as I could.

“They started playing a passing game as we were only playing with one person up top, so I tried to close down as much as I could and stop them from launching any kind of attacks.”

Overall, the defender was pleased with the performance and result.

“At times I think we could have capitalised and taken three points, but playing here at Leeds it’s a tough atmosphere.

“They scored two good goals. To go home with a point is not too bad.”

Onyewu has also represented teams in Portugal, France, Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands and feels while football crowds can be similar all over Europe, the style of the game here in England can be a lot tougher.

“I don’t think the crowds are different, if you go to any other country I think the crowds are as passionate as they want to be.

“Crowd wise, I think England is definitely up there, but there a lot of countries that have good support as well.

“I think the biggest difference in England is the speed of play and a lot of players have to get used to that. 

“It can take an adapting period to do so.”

Follow us on Twitter @NewsShopperSprt