Date: 15th February 2018 at 8:59am
Written by:

Charlton Athletic manager Karl Robinson has bemoaned the lack of protection for the players from the referee following the clash with Bradford City in midweek.

Hosting Bradford at The Valley on Tuesday evening, both sides played out a one all draw with Josh Magennis opening the scoring for us midway through the first half, but the visitors bagged a leveller with ten minutes remaining.

Whilst the result was frustrating for Robinson has he spoke to the Official Site in his post game press conference, the gaffer’s main gripe was with the challenges that we took – Tarique Fosu and Sullay Kaikai in particular.

‘There were some tackles on my players today. You hear Premier League managers moaning about tackles – Tariqe Fosu and Sullay Kaikai got some horrendous treatment today. That`s not negative against them, Bradford are a very good side and Simon is one of the best managers in the league. They`re aggressive in what they do, but the referee has to take control. How can we dominate possession like we did, yet we gave away six or seven fouls and we had two, yet we had all the ball.’

The eagle eyes amongst you will know the statistics from the game don’t represent his recollection of the match, but that’s always the case in football isn’t it.

‘Josh Magennis gets battered every single week. He`s honest, he`s fair, he stays on his feet and he gets nothing. Their guy, Patrick Bauer goes against him, he goes to ground and he gets a free-kick. The officiating today got out of control and once the game got out of control in the second half, it becomes random. What about the foul on Ezri Konsa in the box. What about the one on Nicky Ajose? What about the three or four that led to it? I just don`t get that, I don`t understand. I`ve been quite supportive of the officials, for me!’

Robinson went on to say.

‘I was emotional at the beginning and got given a talking to because I said to the referee that one of my players was going to get hurt. Their job is to protect the welfare of the players and they`re not. They`re not protecting my flair players. Obviously, they`re going to deteriorate in form because of the fear of breaking your leg. There`s always that possibility when you aggressive in that way, someone can get hurt and the referees need to take more control. Jake Forster-Caskey gets done round the knee and responds stupidly by pushing someone, but I don`t get how it`s the same. One could actually hurt somebody and the other couldn`t. Nicky Ajose ran around and was aggressive but then got done round his waist.’

Turning attentions to the scoreline and the result, Robinson was full of praise for the effort of the side across the 90 minutes and he again felt hard done by as another deflection cost us three points towards the end of the game again.

‘I thought the players were excellent and they deserved a lot more than we got out of the game again. We were against a good team who have been in indifferent form, but have got a new manager in so there`s a different mentality and a different way, so we get them at a difficult time. There was a little spell in the second half where we lost our shape a bit, but their goal came from another deflection. Chris Solly has quite comfortably got the cross, but it takes a nick off Ezri Konsa. So it`s deflected into his path, just as it did on Saturday. You can`t blame the players for that.’

Robinson acknowledged that it led to more frustrations for the fans again, but sometimes you can’t do anything about it.

‘I know fans will be frustrated and we can all go away and talk about making subs and we should have done this or that, but we`ve conceded in the last two games with two deflections that have dropped to them. That can`t be a lack of shape or poor play, you just have to hold your hands up because that`s just the way it is. That`s just football. But again, at 1-0, we have to go again and edge ourselves to get the second. We felt that our shape was good, so you can`t blame it on not making substitutions because we weren`t really any danger. The only danger came from them hitting the crossbar from a free-kick.’

He added.

‘I don`t think a draw was fair. They`ll probably say it was fair and they`re a very good team who will have a bit of a spurt. But so will we, because we`ll take a lot of confidence from this.’

The result leaves Charlton in seventh place in the League One table, and we are just two points behind Bradford who sit in the Play Off sports. We do however have two games in hand on them.

‘We`ve got two games on hand on the team below and one above us. We`re in a great position and I`m really proud of my players. I`m proud of my club and we keep going. It`s a long, drawn out season and it`s hard. But you`ve got to find something within you that separates you from the rest. This is the bit that I love. I hate my job until this point, now is the time to find out who has got the balls to go and grab it. We`ve got to up the ante and say come on, we`re Charlton, come and get us.’

He clearly remains positive for the remainder of the season.

‘Everybody is on the front foot and we have to get ahead of everyone. I see things in my team that I`m so proud of. I feel sorry for them that we`ve drawn the game. We shouldn`t have drawn Saturday, we shouldn`t have drawn today, we`ve lost four points, but we`ve gained two. We`ve not lost ground. We`re still in this and there`s a lot of football to play.’

Charlton Bloggers

Join The Vital Debate