Chris Powell felt his Blues side weren’t themselves this afternoon as they fell to a 2-1 defeat at home to Charlton Athletic, with three red cards shown late on in a chaotic finish to the game.
Lyle Taylor’s second-half strike was cancelled out quickly by a Theo Robinson tap in before Krystian Bielik scored the winner with a late header.
In injury time Michael Kightly, Mark Oxley and Charlton’s Tariqe Fosu were all shown straight red cards and after the red mist had calmed, Powell gave us his thoughts on the defeat.
On the Kightly and Oxley red cards…
I’ve seen it now and I’ve spoken to the referee, I gave him 20 minutes afterwards and we had a chat. He said Michael Kightly kicked the player on the ground: I’ve seen it, I think it’s a bit of both, but it’s a strong tackle from Mike and their player [Tariqe Fosu] got up and headbutted him.
My only issue with that is the tackle by [Darren] Pratley in the first-half, he said it was cynical and a genuine attempt to get the ball; well he was nowhere near the ball. He [the referee] makes the decisions, I understand that.
And then he’s saying that Mark Oxley grabbed a player around the throat: he does push him, but as we all saw, there must have been 10-15 players pushing each other. To be honest with you, I’m quite surprised he sent Mark off, but the other one we’ve seen countless times; a player makes a strong tackle, then a reaction from the other player, they both get sent off. Bit chaotic is an understatement.
On the defeat…
I thought first-half we never got to grips with it, I didn’t think that was us. I’m not blaming the heat or anything, I just think we were quite laboured.
The good thing was that we were concentrated with regards to when they were attacking, whether that was in open play or from set-pieces, we were on the money and we needed to get them to half-time just to get around them and try and change them a little bit.
I thought we started off the second-half better, they’ve scored a goal but the good thing is that we reacted well and Theo [Robinson] prodded it over the line, so you get yourself back in it.
But something we’re normally very good is when we’re marking, even when teams are bigger physically, we have to win our duels and we didn’t win that one; good ball in, good goal and then you’re chasing it last few minutes.
Disappointing because we were on the way to earning a well-earned point but we’ve come away with a defeat. Tough one but at the minute we’re very up and down. I’ve just said to the players when we think we’re on our way a bit we get knocked back, but when we get knocked back we normally respond, so we’re going to have to respond again.
On selection headaches…
We’re going to have to get on with it like we normally do. In some respects, I had 18 players today and I’m playing a right back in midfield, a 19-year old at right back who’s only played a few games, so we’re a little bit makeshift in that respect.
Sam Mantom, I very much doubt if he’ll train again until next Thursday or Friday, we had to get him through. He was 50% fit but he got on with it which shows the character of him, but it’s tough to take and we nearly got something out of it.
We’ve got young Nathan [Bishop] who’s only 18, Ted Smith is working his way back, so it’s something we’re going to have to deal with. Whether we keep him, the young 18-year-old is very inexperienced so that’s an issue, but we’ll have to wait and see whether we can get a loan keeper in if we have to.
I think we will because Ted’s not ready and the only fit keeper is Nathan, so it’s something we’ll have to deal with in the next few days.