This Charlton team continue to learn about football in the Championship. This evening we were battered by the Rams in the first-half, conceding after only seven minutes and were fortunate to keep it that after 45 minutes. Seven minutes or so after the break and we went two down and it looked like we might follow Watford's 5-1 thumping at Pride Park.
Chris Powell reacted earlier than normal by bringing Fuller and Kerkar on for Hollands and Wright-Phillips on the hour but we were three down within several minutes as Julian Ward scored his second of the evening from the spot folloiwng a foul by Green.
As the first wave of Addicks fans logged out or switched off their radios, Danny Green rallied the cause with a 30 yard strike that stunned the home side and put them on the back-foot. A couple of minutes later, Green made the second for Kermorgant and all-of-a-sudden it was Charlton in the ascendency. We couldn't keep the head of steam but we continued to go forward and came close in the five added minutes as we had a penalty shout for handball turned down and a header cleared off the line. Ben Hamer was up in the opposition box again at the death but once again it was too little too late.
The pre-match debate will focus on team selection with most fans surprised that Evina was overlooked this evening for left-back and Solly preferred with Wilson retaining his place. Green got a deserved start after his appearance against Palace but still no apparent change in the centre of midfield. I too thought Evina would get the nod as a natural left-back but I have to say I thought Solly and Wilson coped pretty well with two very good Palace wingers on Friday and there was an obvious case for keeping them in.
The two-game optimism has been well and truly watered down but we need to keep perspective. We can't expect to win away games in the Championship and will need to get used to soaking up pressure and conceding goals. Ipswich might represent a better opportunity to add to the points total and then we have two successive home games against Blackburn and Watford.
Things might not be ticketty-boo behind the scenes at the Valley but the fans need to support the side in the meantime and play their part in keeping the morale and confidence of the players up. Let's not forget what this squad achieved last season and believe that we have the fight in us to establish ourselves quickly.