LUZON: I'VE TOLD TONY WATT I NEED
Benched forward hits two
CHARLTON boss Guy Luzon admitted that his decision to bring match-winning striker Tony Watt on as a half-time substitute was the result of an altercation between the two during training, rather than any astute tactical decision.
Most of the pre-match talk had centred around the visitors’ striker Charlie Austin, but Watt stole the show, opening the scoring within minutes of coming on and galvanising his team-mates, who had struggled to get a grip on proceedings during a disappointing first 45 minutes
“I didn’t start with Tony because of something between me and him, something that happened in training, but I knew that he had the ability to change a game,” said Luzon.
“There is no doubt about his quality, about his motivation. Winning a game is what he’s there for, it’s his job.”
Both teams lacked any creative spark early on, but it was the visitors, and that man Austin, who had the better of the opening exchanges.
The striker, called into the England squad last season, put a shot wide from just inside the box in the eighth minute.
That was pretty much it until the 34th minute, when Austin won a free kick on the edge of the box.
Tjarron Chery’s effort was disappointingly tame.
The warning signs were there for the visitors, with Charlton showing plenty of signs of life either side of half-time. Watt, fresh off the bench, took his chance well, turning in the box and shooting through the crouching Rob Green, who probably should have done better.
Charlton dug in well and grew in confidence, with Watt in particular running at the QPR defence and finding chances. He could well have got himself a second in the 67th minute, shrugging off two markers and seeing a deflected shot bounce just wide.
Morgan Fox’s goal was a fine individual effort. Left in space outside the box, he calmly curled past Green.
Rangers seemed to run out of steam as the second half progressed and Austin in particular, despite working hard to create space, seemed to struggle late on in the lone striker role.
Clearly manager Chris Ramsey was putting all his faith in the player, despite talk linking him with an imminent move, with Everton rumoured to be the latest suitors.
“Austin would be a big loss for any club in any division,” Ramsey said.
“He’s going to be a massive gain for anyone who can buy him. QPR as club has helped him get to this stage and he knows that, which is why he played like he did.
“Do I wish the transfer window had already closed?Yes, I do.
“I think every single player does.You want to get your players settled well and truly before the season starts.”
Ramsey appeared resigned to losing his star man, but tried to look to the positives.
“I think if we can replicate that first half performance on a regular basis, then we can settle,” he said.
“Conceding the goals when we did really took the stuffing out of us. We weren’t able to overcome that.”
If there’s pressure at QPR and uncertainty about how the team will shape-up post-Austin, life in the Charlton camp seems nicely relaxed.
Certainly Luzon isn’t worrying himself too much about how this season will pan out - not yet, anyway. “My target?” the Israeli smiled.“To win the next game.
“For our first game, a London derby, it was great for our team and supporters. There was an unbelievable atmosphere at times in the stadium.”
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