Jose Riga has refused to say Charlton would not be in the relegation zone had he been appointed earlier in the season.

The 2-1 defeat to QPR on Saturday was Charlton’s 21st league loss of the campaign and left Riga’s side 10 points adrift of safety with five games remaining.

But results have improved under Riga, who returned for his second stint at the Valley in January, with the Addicks picking up 11 points in six games before the Loftus Road outing.

When asked by News Shopper whether he feels the situation would be different had he been in charge earlier, Riga said: “I never want to be pretentious or say ‘I would do the thing in a better way’.

“The fact is for many reasons the story is not a good one for Charlton [this season].

“When I arrive I just try to do my job. I will never say: ‘If I was there it would be different’.

“It’s not an easy job to be manager and I have respect for all of them.”

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After a decent start to the season, results slipped under Guy Luzon and the Israeli boss was sacked at the end of October.

Karel Fraeye was named as caretaker boss but Riga’s former assistant was unable to improve the situation in SE7.

Riga, 58, has seen many positives in the side since he took over and feels they have deserved more from their recent run.

He added: “We have seen a real team doing good things, not only in the spirit or the fight, but in the games.

“What they give in the last few games, we deserve much more but it can be a good lesson.

“We’ve played some big teams recently but we have been more than competing.”

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