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Charlton head coach impressed by Petrucci and Pigott contribution in Derby County defeat
Jose Riga feels the potential goal threat provided by new signing Davide Petrucci will boost Charlton’s survival hopes as the fixtures continue to come thick and fast.
The 22-year-old attacking midfielder joined the Addicks on loan late last week for the remainder of the campaign from Manchester United and made his debut as a late second half substitute in Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Derby.
Ideally Riga would have liked to have drafted in a striker to help end Charlton’s desperate goal shortage – their puny tally of 26 remaining the lowest in the division.
But with no real target available in that department, the head coach instead turned his attention to Petrucci and also admitted he will have to get the best out of what is already at his disposal.
The SE7 chief said: “I think in midfield we don’t have a lot of players. We have some wingers.
“We have Jacko, Diego and Jordan but we want more options.
“He (Petrucci) is a young player also, he did well when he came onto the pitch in difficult circumstances.
“We need this kind of player too because with the number of games coming up we need more players.
“We were looking, as were a lot of teams, for a striker which we didn’t find, so we have to find the solution within our squad.”
One striker who Riga can now select is Joe Pigott after the youngster was recently recalled to The Valley from his loan spell at Gillingham.
Like Petrucci, Pigott also came off the bench at Derby and the head coach was suitably impressed by what he saw.
Riga said: “We don’t have only bad news today.
“Of course the result is difficult but Joe Pigott did well and created by himself some chances.
“It was not easy for him to come into the game when we don’t really master the game, but he did it well.”
Sloppy defending by Charlton gifted the Rams their two first half openers which were scored by Johnny Russell and Patrick Bamford.
And although there was a noticeable improvement after the break, Derby added a third late on through Chris Martin to put the outcome beyond all doubt.
Riga said: “In the first half we made two big mistakes and then of course Derby have the game in their hands. We knew already Derby were a very good young team.
“We have the first major opportunity with Jacko and in the second half we see the better chances, I think two or three times.
“We have about six corners and we have only two in the first half so it means something about the reaction.
“And of course the last goal is one too much but as I said to the players we lose a game but we know already that the way is still long.
“Opportunities to make the job possible are still there for sure, it is just a question again to recover first as much as we can because some players have played a lot.
“In the last game (Forest) and this game when you have to run more after the ball it is quite difficult.
“But the most important thing is to know what you have done before, and what we didn’t do today, to have a better result.”
There is no let up for the Addicks in their bid to beat the drop, though, as their busy schedule of playing Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday continues between now and the end of what promises to be a gruelling end of the campaign.
Riga said: “I said from the first day that to have games more is of course an advantage and it cannot be a disadvantage.
“Playing on Tuesday and Saturday of each week with young players, we have a lot of young players and it is even more difficult.
“We knew, we don’t have to complain, we just try to do our best, not only on the pitch but outside the pitch, to still have a competitive team.”
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