Charlton caretaker boss Lee Bowyer praised debutant Josh Cullen as the West Ham loanee provided the assist for the winning goal at Southend.
The 22-year-old’s 87th minute header was powered home by Krystian Bielik as the Addicks edged Chris Powell’s Southend side 2-1.
“Very good,” said Bowyer of the youngster, who has joined the South Londoners until the end of the current campaign.
“He’s got a great engine. He cramped up a little bit at the end there but what I was asking him and (Darren) Pratley to do was very hard. We played the diamond and the left and the right of the diamond is very demanding. They’ve got to go out to full-backs and back in. Josh hasn’t really had to do that before. I thought he was outstanding. He competed, passed the ball well. Got into the box. I thought it was a very good debut.
“Great from Krystian, and a great cross from Josh. So, two signings combined there. Apart from that, I thought we defended very well and passed the ball very well. On another day we could have scored another two or three goals.”
The victory was marred by a late brawl that saw Tariqe Fosu and two Southend men dismissed.
Bowyer has warned Fosu, who was making his first appearance of the season after suffering injury in pre-season, that he must learn to react differently to strong challenges.
“I asked the ref after the game,” explained the Addicks chief.
“He said the man tackled Tariqe knee-high and Tariqe’s reaction was a headbutt. I haven’t seen it yet. That’s what the ref told me. That’s what it is. He’s going to be banned now for three games. That’s a massive loss, we’ve only just got him backed. That’s the first time he’s got any minutes since he’s been injured.
“It’s a massive loss, he’s a big player for us. I understand it’s the heat of the moment, and bad tackles like that can ruin people’s careers. So, I understand why people react the way they do at times but I’ve just said to him you have to learn from and you can’t be doing that again.”
“Three points, well deserved I think,” added Bowyer.
“When we came here last season we got beat up and lost 3-1. I said them “you stood up and competed as men and you play.” They can play. We’ve got a bit of everything. Coming to these places is always going to be hard. Now we’ve got people who can compete and we’ve got a good mixture and that showed today.”
Joe Aribo and Mark Marshall were both not involved in the Addicks squad at Roots Hall.
Aribo has suffered a minor hip injury, but Marshall was dropped.
“I don’t think it’s too serious,” explained Bowyer on Aribo’s knock.
“I’m hoping to have him back Thursday training with us. That’s the plan. We aren’t going to rush anything because I just want to try and keep them all fit now. I’ll manage their games and minutes and keep them all fit as much as possible.
“Mark Marshall is not injured. George Lapslie has been excellent and he deserved to be on the bench in front of Mark Marshall.”