BY LOUIS MENDEZ
Charlton boss Lee Bowyer was extremely underwhelmed by his side’s display during the 3-1 defeat at Stoke City.
The hosts were on top throughout and goals from James McClean, Tom Ince and Nick Powell helped the hosts leapfrog Charlton at the wrong end of the Championship table.
Ben Purrington’s strike on the stroke of half-time had meant that the game was level at the break, but the Addicks rarely looked like getting anything out of the game.
The South Londoners now sit just one place above the Championship relegation zone, four points ahead of 22nd-placed Wigan Athletic.
“Not good enough,” admitted the Charlton boss.
“From start to finish, they were better than us. First-half, they took the lead, deservedly so. We changed it around a bit, put Andre [Green] up top with Lyle [Taylor]. We scored a good goal. But you can’t come out second-half and play and defend the way we did.
“There were too many players not at it today. That’s the reality. Too many that weren’t anywhere near as a good as they can play. We have a squad that have to be at their peak and best to compete in this division. Today, we wasn’t. That’s why we lost by two goals.
“But we go again [at Nottingham Forest on Tuesday]. We have to learn from that, for sure. Stoke should never be where they are in the league. Not with the squad they have. They’ve got some proper players in that side. They showed that today. You have to be at your best, do the basics right. Today, we didn’t.”
Charlton have been boosted recently by the return to fitness of the likes of Lyle Taylor, Jonny Williams and Josh Cullen as the injury crisis in SE7 eases off – but to no avail at the bet365 Stadium.
“I was saying to Jacko whilst the game was going on, they weren’t at their peak,” added Bowyer.
“When they’ve been out for so long, you want them to be at the level they were before they were injured but it takes time.
“Today, that showed. We had a lot of players who have come back from injury on the pitch but they weren’t at their peak and I that’s a part of why we struggled.”
PHOTOS: KYLE ANDREWS