ADDICKS STAR CLOSE TO EXIT
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.”
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