Sunday at Charlton was an afternoon of mixed emotions. We were leading 2-0 away from home and cruising with 10 minutes to go. But somehow we only ended up with a point.
Once we conceded the first goal, it was about holding on and seeing out the game, but we couldn’t do it. It sums us up at the moment; we play ever so well for 80 minutes and then concede late on. Before the game you’d probably take a point but to be 2-0 up and only end up drawing was gutting.
As the cliché goes, hindsight is a wonderful thing and I think we should have kept Moussa on. He was bossing it, he’s big and strong and the Charlton defenders were struggling to cope with him. But we still should have been mentally strong enough to see out the game. That’s how you get on a winning run; by defending resolutely and doing the right thing once you get a lead.
I was in with the fans at Charlton. I was devastated with the result but it was a great away day. Me and Bazza [Barry Hayles] went along on the boat and we had a good laugh and a great singsong.
The two home games prior to Charlton couldn’t have been more different. The QPR match was probably the best I’ve seen us play in a good two or three years. Everyone was spot on, it was one of those games were everything just came together. To top it off, it was against our neighbours from down the road.
That should have set us up nicely for the Wolves game but nothing went right that evening. The red card for Cairney didn’t help, then they scored two in quick succession and that killed the game off. But so what if Cairney got sent off? We should have stayed hard to beat. If we draw 0-0, then we take a point, but we made it too easy.
Tom can’t have any complaints about the red card. Every player has done it; your touch gets away from you and you dive in to try and get it back. No one had any arguments; it’s just disappointing as he started the season really well. He can play across the midfield and he’s a goal threat so he’ll be sorely missed.
The players will now be stewing on the Charlton result for a couple of weeks as we haven’t got another game until later this month because of the international break. Once the players all get back together, they’ll sit down and discuss what went wrong and try and turn it around. It’s still early on in the season but you can’t be throwing away leads like we did at The Valley.
After that, it’s a very tricky test in Middlesbrough away. They’re doing well and sitting in second spot. They’ve spent a lot of money and they’ve signed some experienced players who know this league well. I played with David Nugent at Portsmouth, things didn’t really go that well for him there but you could tell he was a good, honest player.
Boro are a decent side but on our day we can beat anyone in this league, it just depends on what Fulham turn up. If we start the first 20 minutes on the front foot, be solid and resolute, then we can win it. The lads can do that – we saw it against QPR - but they’re not doing it on a consistent basis right now. It’s so easy to get on a bad run. But if you can get on a good one, it can be infectious.