BY LOUIS MENDEZ
Charlton skipper Jason Pearce felt disappointed as he gave away the spot-kick that enabled Preston to run out 1-0 victors at The Valley on Sunday.
Central-defender Pearce was penalised for manhandling Jayden Stockley midway through the second-period – the first penalty that the Addicks had conceded this season.
Paul Gallagher did the honours from 12 yards and Alex Neil’s side held on to their slender victory to climb to the summit of the Championship table.
“I haven’t seen it back but I imagine it looks like a penalty,” admitted Pearce.
“I’m quite a hands-on. I just tried to stay with him and he’s just fallen. My arms are probably around him, it’s just how I defend. He’s given it so I’m disappointed and I’ve lost us the game.
“I felt they were better than us, we weren’t quite at it today as a team. I don’t know for what reason but we weren’t quite on it. Our passing wasn’t quite right. It wasn’t really us. We haven’t had a performance like that this season so as players we’re really disappointed. Being at home we wanted to do better. We’ll move on to a massive game next weekend.
“We’ve come up and have proven ourselves at this level. We are where we are on merit. We’ve had some really good games but today we didn’t play good football. Today we got sucked in to how they play, playing long ball and that’s not really us. We’re trying to say to each other in the first-half to try and get it down and play but it wasn’t happening for us today. It’s really frustrating for us but we’ll have to dust ourselves down, put a good week’s training in and be ready to go to Millwall.”
North End employed some of football’s dark arts as they looked to see out the game, with players looking to waste time at any opportunity.
Pearce admitted that whilst those tactics made for a frustrating afternoon, but could understand the reasoning behind them and may well have used them himself if the shoe had been on the other foot.
“It was a professional performance by them. If we are in that position we’d try and do the same. To play against that, it is really frustrating. Their players are going down, they’re keeping it in the corner and wasting time. It’s difficult.
‘They were playing all the little games you do when you’re winning. We were on the losing side, we’re at home and we want to get the ball back and they’re making it difficult for us. We’ve got to do better on the pitch to get something out the game anyway.”
PHOTOS: KYLE ANDREWS