Charlton defender Patrick Bauer reckoned that boss Karl Robinson’s half-time team talk was the catalyst for a strong second-half performance during the 1-1 draw with Bradford City.
The Addicks had taken what seemed an unlikely lead in a difficult first period as the German’s knock down was converted by his central defensive partner Jorge Teixeira.
The Bantams were level before the break with Timothee Dieng gobbling up the rebound as Declan Rudd spilled Mark Marshall’s drive.
The South Londoners improved after the interval, with Tony Watt and Lee Novak coming close to securing a winner for the hosts, and Bauer credited that upturn in performance to Robinson’s motivational chat.
“He wasn’t very happy with the game,” Bauer admitted.
“He said that we looked a little bit nervous. At half-time we left that in the dressing room and showed a better performance in the second-half. We created some good chances.
“I thought that the first part of the game was difficult, I didn’t think we played very well. At half-time the manager found the right words and the second-half was much better. We created some good chances and should have killed the game in the second-half.
“We want to get as many points as possible. The manager always finds the right words to motivate everybody. We want to win every game.”
Robinson has asked publically for his back four, who have been chopped and changed almost constantly due to injuries an suspensions, to be more aggressive in their style and force the issue in the tackle.
“He (Robinson) always expects from us that we are defending on the front foot,” said the former Stuttgart trainee.
“We get closer on the pitch. With this kind of pressing we recover the ball faster and can go forward quickly and score.
“There has been many rotations this season, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many before. All the lads are really good. Sometimes it takes one or two games to get used to each other but I think that we are doing it well.”
At the start of the season the Addicks were fancied, with the bookmakers at least, to be challenging for the play-off places as a minimum as the campaign neared it’s conclusion but Tuesday’s draw sees them languishing in 15th place in League One.
Bauer admitted that the season had been unsatisfactory but said he had no plans at this time to leave SE7 in the summer.
“It’s quite disappointing,” said the 24-year-old.
“Especially the last few weeks when we had four defeats. It was quite difficult but now we have to focus on the next game. We want to get as many points as possible. We expected that the season would go better but I’m still in contract with Charlton and I am planning to be here next year.”
Charlton travel to runaway league leaders Sheffield United, who were held to a 1-1 draw at The Valley in November, on Saturday but Bauer insists his side will go into the game with no fear.
“I’m sure that we can beat them,” he said.
“We showed already this season at home we drew against them. Twice we have beaten Scunthorpe and we drew with them once. We have showed that we can beat the leaders of the table. We have to go to the league leaders on Saturday now and put in a good performance.”