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Charlton boss speaks out amid huge howler from keeper and fan anger in loss to Cheltenham

Charlton boss Ben Garner speaks out amid a huge howler from keeper Craig MacGillivray and the fan anger in loss to Cheltenham on Friday.

Alfie May scored only goal of the game for Cheltenham, who extended their unbeaten League One run up to five games after a win over Charlton.

May secured the three points late after Craig MacGillivray’s mistake, leaving fans furious and the manager seemingly aiming his anger at those higher up.

Cheltenham had the only notable action in the first half, being denied three times quickly, with May’s lob smashing the crossbar and fell for Dan N’Lundulu, but his attempt was stopped by Lucas Ness.

After James Olayinka’s follow-up, Ryan Inniss was forced to clear the line.

Charlton looked brighter after the break, forcing a few corners to test the Cheltenham defence before they started applying pressure.

May scored the winning goal with six minutes remaining after MacGillivray had lost the ball at the area’s edge.

Charlton’s Ben Garner said via London News Online he fully understands the reception his side received following the 1-0 home loss against Cheltenham Town.

His side are now winless in five league games, have won five of their 20 League One fixtures and were booed from the pitch following a result that saw the Addicks drop to 16th in the table.

“I understand the reaction,” admitted the Charlton boss.

“I’m not silly. We’ve lost at home to Cheltenham and, no disrespect to them, it’s a game we want to win. We’ve had too many of those. We’ve been better against the teams higher in the league and we haven’t been as good against those below us in the table. That’s a recurring theme and for me comes down to mentality.

“I maintain that wasn’t a poor performance, there was a lot of good in there. There’s just elements and mistakes that we have to get out and elements we have to improve.

“There’s no-one more frustrated than me. I get it, I really do. We should have won more games. That then creates the situation that we’re in. The only way to turn it around is to work hard and improve.

“We’re really disappointed. A really cruel result, especially based on the second half. First half we started the game really well. Then had a spell where we gave them some opportunities and had to defend well in certain moments because of what we gave them.

“From the start of the second half, the first 25 minutes, we were brilliant for long spells. We pinned them back and had complete control. Stopped them breaking. It was just a case of getting a goal, which we didn’t do. Then it was a really cruel blow at the end.”

He added on MacGillivray: “We don’t blame individuals. We accept it collectively. We had a couple of moments first half that gave them opportunities. We eradicated them second half, we really did. It was just that one at the end. That costs you games. It’s fine margins. There’s a lot of positives in there. We have to tidy up in those areas if we’re going to get results.”


“We’ve got more than enough there to win the game and I think we’ve played well enough to win the game,” said Garner following his side’s latest setback.

“We’ve got injuries, we’ve got a player ill, a player suspended but that’s where we are. We have to do more to come through that. That comes back to mentality. That’s something that has to change at the football club. I’m not trying to take pressure off me, but I don’t think it’s a managerial issue.

“You can keep changing manager every three or four months if you want. It’s deeper than that. It’s a cultural issue. It’s a mentality issue. That’s harder to change but that’s what we’ve got to do. I want to do that. I’m very willing to do that. I know I’ll be successful if I’m given the opportunity to do that.”

US-based owner Thomas Sandgaard was in attendance at The Valley to see the defeat.

When asked how his conversations with his boss have gone this week, Garner said: “They’ve been fine. I haven’t really had too many conversations [with Sandgaard].

“We spoke briefly about recruitment for January and that’s it. From my perspective, I can’t work any harder than I am. I will continue to do that and fight and give everything for this football club. I don’t feel external pressure because I can’t place any more pressure than I do on myself. There’s deep change needed.

“I’m not deflecting off me, I’m taking absolute full responsibility. But I do think it’s deeper than that. You can change manager and you might get a short reaction but then it will seed back to the norm. We have to change that. We have to change the whole mentality of the football club and how we move forward.

“We had a brief conversation about January and then we’re going to take that further. It will be a really important window for us. We want to come out of it as strongly as we can. Whatever the budget is, it’s about doing the best possible with that.”

He said on potentially spending in January: “I don’t know is the honest answer. I’ll give my suggestions to Thomas. I’m sure that Steve [Gallen] will be doing the same from his perspective. Hopefully we can recruit well and add to the group.”

Head Coach Wade Elliott has given his immediate thoughts following the win over Charlton Athletic.

He said: “We deserved that, I thought we were really good and we were rightly rewarded.

“That’s what Alfie does, he sniffs out chances and scores goals.

“That is eight clean sheets now and it is a collective effort. When you come to a place like Charlton you expect to come under pressure and we had to dig in.

“I have told the players that if they are fortunate enough to have the shirt they must keep up their levels because there is a lot of competition.

“Some of our football in the first half was really good. We have been solid and we were defensively sound.”

This is what fans said as the Charlton boss speaks out amid a huge howler from the keeper and fan anger in the loss to Cheltenham…

@Tom_D98: Leaving at HT yesterday weren’t a bad shout. 😂 #cafc

@tegsyjack: #cafc fans, tell me honestly, who actually looks forward to watching us play anymore? Feels like every week is just going through the motions. Fail to see how anyone can excited about going anywhere to see us play. Only saving grace on away days is getting on the piss

@charltonfcboy: Tonight’s performance was absolute shambles yet again it’s the same old story every week the backwards and sideways passing, none of the attacking players want to drop deep to create options and Garner allows it to happen every single game. It needs to change #cafc

@SamGrover_1: I think Garner wants out and is trying to get sacked for payout. Explains why he’s outspoken against Sangaard and tactically setting the team up to fail. #cafc

@Peterobs3: ….and we thought Roland was rubbish 🫤 #cafc

@StarskyCAFC: Just how wank are #cafc I’ve seen many bad nights in my time but getting done at home to Cheltenham is a new low for me ☹️

@thereeljd: #cafc Never thought we’d have a worse season than last looks like I was wrong.

@hill_deancafc: What a fucking joke that was tonight… Fans don’t care about Skintgaard ball … No point in having all the possession and still lose games first half we had fuck all going forward… we have most of our possession in our own half 🤬🤬🤬 TS can fuck off BG can fuck off. #cafc

@day_tom: Lots of possession but nothing in the final 3rd. Clare was excellent tonight and Ness and Mitchell showed Innis how to defend. Howler of a mistake for their goal, but never should be still 0-0 by then. Need a striker or 2 in Jan and our injuries back. #CAFC

@SteveK157DFC: Not one single player, coach or manager can hold their heads up high tonight @CAFCofficial. None of you are fit for PURPOSE. So little talent anywhere in SE7 these days. #CAFC

@BenGreasby: Ben Garner and Thomas Sandgaard out. Both are causing harm to the club on and off the pitch respectively. The football club from top to bottom stinks. #cafc

@leaahalexandraa: Clare, Ness & Mitchell was the only players who played well tonight #cafc

@Addick1958: 16th in League1… 😳 Thanks for the top 4 budget @SandgaardThomas #cafc

@ProperCharlton: This is to close to being the lowest I’ve ever felt about our club. We just seem to go from one shit show to another. #CAFC

@Billy_Luker: Week in week out; same boring rubbish. Pass it around the back, ineffective going forward, make a mistake, concede 😴. Mitchell & Ness our two best players tonight, both academy debutants. Make of that what you will #cafc

@Franco_5_: Really don’t agree with booing ab individual player for making a mistake. Yes MacGillivray had an absolute nightmare and should’ve dealt with that. But, he didn’t set out to fuck that up on purpose. #cafc

@AdBartTheSecond: Brighton are going to batter us & we’re gunna have to sit there while 6k of their fans take the piss. We have fallen beyond all recognition I’m the last 15 years #cafc

@ProperCharlton: Congratulations @SandgaardThomas on completely ruining the club. Sooner you sell up, the better. #CAFC

@Buzzo1947: The keeper will get pelters for that all day long. Its what happens to keepers, I was one. But we’ve had 86 minutes to win a game and we ain’t. Team selection was shocking and you can feel the whole vibe around the team isn’t good. Clocks ticking now for TS. #cafc

@Wallin58: Not having this being Garner’s fault either. I don’t see what sacking him would achieve #cafc

@freeCAFC: 16th. Managers get sacked for that. No point this time. We do that every couple of seasons & start again but same problems emerge in the squad size/quality. Decent managers still need decent teams, only the absolute elite managers (jose) get average squads to win #cafc

@brayash24: If the keeper makes that mistake at 3-0 no one cares, but tonight it cost us the points and he’s the villain. The life of a GK. If we actually had some depth up top and in other areas we win that. Pretty much the story of our season #cafc

@MarkCAFC1905: It’s no surprise we lost that tonight we’ve lined up ready for a Papa John’s game in a must win game. This absolute dog shit has gotta stop now, BG will get sacked but probably when TS flies back home cause he hasn’t got the bollocks to tell him face to face the cnut #cafc

@Wallin58: If Yann, even at this age, was on that pitch today, we win #cafc

@Jimmyyy_____: We can all sit here and Blame Sandgaard but you’re telling me this squad on paper should be struggling to beat the likes of Burton, Stockport, Port vale and Cheltenham?? #cafc

@cbratton84: Sack him now. Fella is clueless, another week to prepare and serves that up. Sack him now and put us all out our misery and release the keeper now #cafc

@MOwen: Absolutely appalling. So many players stealing a living…with special mention to @AlbieMorgan1 for being the worst. Dreadful dreadful dreadful #cafc

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