Michael Appleton in no mood to write off Charlton’s play-off dreams despite Boxing Day defeat at Orient

Charlton Athletic’s head coach, Michael Appleton, refused to concede their League One play-off aspirations immediately after their Boxing Day defeat by Leyton Orient. Despite trailing 14 points behind sixth-placed Stevenage in the standings after the match, with two games in hand, Appleton remained optimistic. In the post-match interview following the 1-0 loss in east London, he acknowledged the 11-point gap at that moment but expressed belief in the team’s chances.

Appleton pointed to past instances of teams making successful comebacks from mid-table positions, citing the example of Blackpool, which was 16th on New Year’s Day and later won the play-off final against Lincoln. He emphasized the potential for change, especially if they could secure favorable deals in the January transfer window and improve defensive performances.

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Despite the bookmakers listing Charlton at 66/1 odds for promotion following their seventh league defeat, Appleton remained hopeful. The team’s recent form, with seven points from the last six matches, fell short of the required pace for contention at the season’s end. Charlton faced a challenging upcoming schedule, playing against 10th-placed Bristol Rovers on Friday night and hosting Oxford United on New Year’s Day.

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