Date: 5th August 2017 at 8:48pm
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Manager Karl Robinson has hailed the efforts of the players and the fans in this weekend’s victory over Bristol Rovers.

Opening our 2017/18 League One campaign at The Valley with a one nil victory over Bristol Rovers courtesy of a Patrick Bauer first half goal, the fact we were reduced to ten men early on with Lee Novak being shown a straight red card just made the game even more special for the gaffer.

Speaking to the Official Site as he met with the press following the game, a delighted Robinson explained that without the fans, Charlton would not have taken victory in that game.

‘The fans made it even today. We had a man sent off and they weren`t a 12th man because they made it 11 v 11. We fed off that, it`s an incredible feeling and the boys are buzzing. We had just over 12,000 fans rocking at The Valley. The fans have got their team back and a team to cheer for the rest of the season and we`ll be giving our all week in, week out. The fire was lit and the roof came off and that`s why I came here. It`s their team, not mine and we play for them.’

Praising the players for their efforts having been reduced to ten men just seven minutes into the game, he went on to say.

‘The fitness levels are incredible and so is the mental strength of the team. You`ll have to make us bleed to get anything out of us. I said to the players before the game – if they want to outrun you, they won`t. If they want to outfight us, come and have a go. If you want to come and try to outplay us, we`ll outplay you.’

As for Novak’s sending off, Robinson was adamant it was never a red card, however he did concede he didn’t think Bauer’s winner crossed the line.

‘It wasn`t a sending off and it wasn`t a goal either, by the way. So hopefully by me telling you that it shows that I haven`t got on rose-tinted glasses, because it wasn`t a sending off. It`s a foul and Lee Novak has come across while being fouled and has gone in for the challenge. It doesn`t look great from behind, but I`m looking right down the line of it. He`s gone across the floor and I think simulation gets him sent off, personally. I feel sorry for Lee because it means so much to him this year. With losing Josh Magennis, this was his opportunity.’

Whether or not that means we’ll appeal the decision remains to be seen.

With some fans questioning substitute Tony Watt’s work rate when he was introduced for the final 20 minutes, News Shopper have Robinson defending the striker, and explaining that he carried out his instructions to the word.

‘I told him not to chase every ball down because if he goes chasing, stupidly, he goes with the keeper and their centre-halves and now we’ve only got eight players. But if he doesn’t chase, we keep nine on the side of the ball. The centre-backs and the goalkeeper are never going to score. It was important for him to be on the toes of the two midfield players. He got a lot of knock-downs – and if he wasn’t there – the ball would’ve gone to one of their players. So, I told him not to go chasing stupidly, so maybe he took that a little bit too literally. But he did everything I asked.’

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