ADDICKS STAR CLOSE TO EXIT

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Chris Phillips

CHARL­TON Ath­letic boss Karl Robin­son ad­mits he is re­signed to los­ing “the biggest tal­ent out­side the Pre­mier League”.

Highly rated striker Ade­mola Look­man missed the Addicks’ 1-1 draw at Southend United amid in­ter­est from Ever­ton.

And Robin­son ex­pects the 19year-old to move on dur­ing the Jan­uary trans­fer win­dow.

“I think you al­ways have to be re­signed to los­ing a tal­ent when you’re in League One and you have the biggest tal­ent out­side the Pre­mier League,” said Robin­son.

“It hap­pened with Dele Alli when I was at MK Dons and it’s about re­form­ing and sup­port­ing the kid in the next stage of his de­vel­op­ment.

“I’ve re­ally loved work­ing with him and I care for his de­vel­op­ment so he didn’t play.

“He has a bit of a cold and was 50/50 but I wouldn’t throw him un­der a bus to get a re­sult and I had play­ers who wanted to be in the team.

“We had heart and de­sire and I hope the fans saw that and can look for­ward now with plenty of hope and op­ti­mism.”

Charl­ton se­cured a share of the spoils at Roots Hall, with An­drew Crofts net­ting an 89thminute equaliser.

The Shrimpers seemed set for a fourth vic­tory in suc­ces­sion when Si­mon Cox fired them in front mid­way through the first half, but the Addicks hit back at the death to pick up a point.

Cox neatly teed him­self up be­fore scor­ing with a well-taken left-footed shot from 12 yards for his third goal in two games.

How­ever, Charl­ton soon be­gan to get back into the game with Joe Aribo and Jorge Teix­eira both be­ing de­nied by Southend goal­keeper Ted Smith be­fore the Shrimpers al­most made it 2-0 when Stephen McLaugh­lin fired against the right post.

In re­ply, Ezri Konsa and Jor­dan Bo­taka were su­perbly de­nied by Smith be­fore Aribo curled an ef­fort against the cross­bar.

The Shrimpers replied with Will Atkin­son hav­ing an ef­fort tipped over by Dil­lon Phillips be­fore Marc-An­toine For­tune bun­dled the ball wide from close range.

The wasted op­por­tu­ni­ties re­turned to haunt Southend as Crofts slammed home an 89thminute vol­ley via the un­der­side of the cross­bar.

And the equaliser left Shrimpers boss Phil Brown suf­fer­ing mixed emo­tions for his play­ers.

“We should have killed the game off and we had a cou­ple of very good chances to make it 2-0,” said Brown.

“I’m dis­ap­pointed to have dropped two points at the end but I thought this game was a great ad­vert in gen­eral for League One foot­ball.

“At the end of the day we also haven’t lost and we’re 12 games un­beaten.

“If we keep on play­ing like that then we’ve shown we can stay in the play-offs if we can add one or two play­ers to the squad in Jan­uary.”

PIC­TURES: Jon Brom­ley/ProS­ports

STAR MAN TED SMITH Southend EYES ON THE BALL: Southend United striker Si­mon Cox bat­tles with Charl­ton de­fender Pa­trick Bauer. In­set, Charl­ton cel­e­brate a late equaliser from An­drew Crofts

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