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Fans were right to boo our first-half display, admits Charlton boss Ben Garner

Ben Garner was less than impressed with his Charlton side’s first-half performance (Steven Paston/PA).
Ben Garner was less than impressed with his Charlton side’s first-half performance (Steven Paston/PA).

Charlton manager Ben Garner admitted fans were “absolutely justified” in booing the team off at half-time in their 1-1 home draw with Oxford.

Jayden Stockley’s second goal of the season salvaged a point for the Addicks, but their winless run stretched to seven League One matches.

The hosts, who are now eight points adrift of the play-off positions, failed to have a shot on target in the first half, with Marcus Browne’s superb strike putting the visitors in front at the break.

Asked about the reaction of the home fans at the interval, Garner said: “Absolutely justified.

“Fortunately we did react. I’m working a lot harder at half-time then I would like.

“We’re having to inject things and ask for things – I want them to be givens. That’s what we want as a baseline at this football club – that there is energy, intensity and passion in our game. Then we can work from there.

“The less said about the first half the better. I’m struggling to find positives with that in any phase of the game.

“It was a much better second half, a positive reaction.”

Garner made a double change at the break, changing system from 3-5-2 to 4-4-2, and his side might have won it late on, Oxford goalkeeper Simon Eastwood racing off his line to make a vital block to deny George Dobson.

Garner added: “We have a fantastic chance late on to win it. We’ve had a few of them in games, 90-minutes plus, we could’ve won two or three games this season. That shows that the fitness levels and spirit is good.

“I’d much rather play how we did second half and have a go, be on the front foot and be attacking.

“If it means we give up one or two opportunities then I’d much rather that than being passive, as we were first half. We didn’t show enough passion or purpose. That just doesn’t sit well, it’s not how I am as a coach.”

Oxford halted a run of two straight losses thanks to Browne’s 25-yard strike.

“We’re third in the (expected goals) table for chances created,” said manager Karl Robinson. “We’ve been playing really well with all our best players out injured.

“When Dobson breaks through I thought, ‘This is the story of our season’, but my keeper bails me out with a wonder save late on.

“It’s two points dropped for our performance, but one point gained when you have a chance like they had – a gilt-edged one late on.

“It was Matty Taylor’s first game in six or seven weeks, one of Marcus Browne’s first starts for about six weeks. Knowing we’ve got Elliott Moore back in after about five weeks, Josh Murphy and Sam Baldock are back next week. Yanic Wildschut is about five or six weeks away.

“It’s a great time to play Oxford United. But we will certainly improve.”