Johnnie Jackson described Charlton’s striker positions as “cursed” after Mason Burstow became their latest injury setback in tonight’s 2-0 loss to Milton Keynes at The Valley.
The Addicks were already without Jayden Stockley, Conor Washington and Chuks Aneke.
And Chelsea loanee Burstow came off in the second half with a hamstring issue.
It leaves Charlton desperately short of frontline options for Saturday’s match at Sheffield Wednesday as they look to halt a run of four straight League One losses.
“I think the whole season would be a different story if I had my senior strikers available,” said Jackson. “I haven’t lost a match when Washington and Stockley have played together, haven’t got the impact of Aneke from the bench, Blackett-Taylor….I brought in Fraser to help in that respect and he’s been out with Covid.
“Now Burstow has come off with a hamstring – it feels like a cursed position. It has changed the whole complexion. After every defeat I’ve looked back and assessed. You can’t help but feel if certain other players had been available would the outcome be different – I think the answer is yes most of the time. But it is what it is and the people who come in have got to try and claim that spot and do the job. It’s been really difficult to get results without them.
“I’ll be amazed if he [Burstow] is available for Saturday.
“The game was decided in both boxes. We started really well and matched a team known for their possession. We had a lot of the ball and moved it well from box to box, created some openings, and weren’t clinical. We get undone in a little moment before half-time, which was disappointing when I felt we’d been more than a match for them.
“Conceding in the second half makes it difficult because we’re chasing the game and at the top end of the pitch we are really limited in what we can do now.
“I’ve just said to them that if I felt that they weren’t trying and giving their all then you’d have a serious problem on your hands – but they are out on their feet there. They are giving it everything, despite the results and what people might think.
“It is a group of lads really trying – I can’t fault them for that. Obviously we need more but there is a spirit there. I’ve just said to them it is how you get through these periods – I’ve had them in my career – you bite down and work hard. The next tiem you come in to train then you do everything you possibly can.
“They are playing for a shirt now because I made changes and everyone, barring Nile John, has had an opportunity to play. Now I’ve got to try and pick an 11 for Sheffield Wednesday. It’s about what they do between now and then to show me they should be playing.”
PICTURE: KEITH GILLARD