LUZON HITS THE WINNING TEMPO
CHARLTON boss Guy Luzon credited an increase in tempo after half-time as the key to their comeback at The Valley.
Leeds deservedly led at the break from an outstanding goal by Steve Morison, minutes after Billy Sharp had a penalty saved.
But Charlton were much improved after the restart, and goals from Tony Watt and Yoni Buyens gave them the points.
Luzon, who joined the club in January, said: “To be honest, I didn’t like our rhythm or tempo in the first half, and at half-time we said we needed to change that to win the game.
“In the second half, the players played with a lot more passion and aggression so they did very well.
“It’s not the first time this season we have shown good character and we need to continue that until the end of the season.”
Luzon also reserved praise for Icelandic international Johann Gudmundsson, who played a key role in both of Charlton’s goals after coming off the bench.
“In the last two weeks, we have played five games, so we had to rotate the team and keep the players fresh,” he added.
“That’s why Johann started on the bench.
“I knew Johann could come on and change the game in the second half and I’m glad he did.”
Charlton started brightly but an injury sustained by experienced French international Alou Diarra early on seemed to destabilise them.
Leeds began to control affairs and should have scored after 20 minutes when Luke Murphy volleyed over from close range.
Moments later, Stephen Henderson was almost left embarrassed as his clearance cannoned off Morison and flew just wide.
Charlton almost scored against the run of play soon after as Igor Vetokele diverted Tal Ben Haim’s effort on to a post.
Sharp then missed a golden chance to break the deadlock when his penalty was saved following Tal Ben Haim’s foul on Sam Byram. Despite that setback, Leeds took the lead after 40 min- utes when Morison volleyed home spectacularly from Luke Murphy’s accurate corner.
Charlton were much improved the break and equalised through Watt’s accurate left-footed finish after Gudmundsson’s delivery on 74 minutes.
Six minutes later, Buyens gave them the lead, scoring his eighth penalty of the campaign after Stuart Taylor had upended Vetokele.
And that strike meant Leeds head coach Neil Redfearn was disappointed his side didn’t earn at least a point.
He said: “I thought we played very well first half and should have been at least two or three up at half-time.
“We spoke about doing a professional job in the second half and managing the game, but we seemed to take our foot off the pedal for 20 minutes and that allowed Charlton back into it.
“On the balance of play, we deserved at least a point. Billy missed a penalty in the first half so we could have been 2-0 up at half-time but it wasn’t to be.”
Six players dropped out of the Leeds squad through injury only the night before, and Redfearn admitted it was the first time he had witnessed such an event in his career.
“It seems like a freakish series of events, having six players drop out before a game,” he added.
“Silvestri got a knock in the last game but we expected him to play.
“I had no idea the others had any problems.
“It’s difficult for me to comment. I have to trust the lads as professionals but obviously a lot has happened at the club since the turn of the year.”
ONE FOR THE ALBUM: Tony Watt scores for Charlton
EASY DOES IT: Yoni Buyens sidefoots Charlton’s winner