Here's five things we learned from Charlton's 1-0 defeat to Preston on Sunday.

A Positive defeat?

It was a bad display. Make no excuses, this was the worst Charlton have played, certainly this season, and possibly since Lee Bowyer took over.

There is a positive in this however. Even in their worst showing the Addicks were only undone by a penalty. They could’ve snatched a point despite barely having thrown a punch at The Valley.

Preston, who went top with victory, are top because they are a very well drilled side under Alex Neil, but they found it difficult to break down this Charlton side, showing how far Bowyer’s side have come.

If they had picked up a point against Preston it would’ve felt like a win, that’s how bad they were, but the fact they are competing in this division with the elite on a bad day can only be seen as a positive.

Schedule taking a toll on depleted squad 

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The Championship is relentless.

On the back tough encounters with Derby, Bristol City and West Brom, maybe the fixture against Preston was one game too many.

Not known as a fashionable side, it may be hard to get yourself motivated against Preston, especially after the emotions of two dramatic late shows at Ashton Gate and The Hawthorns.

Charlton looked tired on Sunday, and for those who played, especially in the middle of the park they looked a little leggy.

Fitness is key for Charlton and Bowyer has got his side amongst the fittest in the division, but with so many injuries and the inability to rotate the Cullens, Gallaghers, Pratleys, it may be starting to show.

That said, with a weeks rest and the carrot of a huge London derby to get fired up for next weekend, I can’t imagine the players will find it difficult to get up for Millwall away.

Sunday on TV – killing the crowd?

You’ll be hard pushed to find better support than the Addicks faithful.

Home and away they have been instrumental in some of the side’s best results over the last 18 months.

Promotion to the Championship has rightly given the club more exposure, and with it more TV coverage.

It may sound like great news but on Sunday with the Sky Sports cameras at The Valley the numbers looked less than the 16,027 recorded attendance.

Don’t get me wrong, the club in the last two years has moved forward dramatically, I just hope with three of the next five fixtures televised it doesn’t make people stay away from possibly one of the best atmosphere’s in the Championship.

The same could be said of Barnsley’s Friday fixture against Bristol City. Granted watching football in the rain and wind doesn’t sound as appealing as from a warm living room or tavern, but seeing so many empty seats isn’t great.

READ: Player Ratings from Charlton's 1-0 Preston defeat

Creativity is an issue

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Charlton looked toothless on Sunday.

Apart from a hectic couple of minutes around the quarter hour mark when Ben Purrington and Conor Gallagher went close, the Addicks mustered very little going forward.

It’s hard to recall Macauley Bonne making any significant contribution to an attack he was so isolated.

The odd flick-on to a white shirt the usual outcome.

Gallagher probed and dribbled with the little success, while Josh Cullen’s game was nullified by a very professional and wiley Preston side.

With Jonny Williams’ busy feet ruled out for another seven weeks, the speed of Lyle Taylor’s return to the side is crucial.

Bonne is a finisher, he won’t create goals from nothing, where as Taylor can do it all.

Here’s hoping he will return for the Millwall clash.

Preston – Promotion candidates?

Lee Bowyer was surprised by Preston’s tactics at The Valley.

Utilising the long-ball they hit Jayden Stockley at the earliest opportunity and it was effective.

That said, don’t believe that’s the only way Preston play.

Alex Neil hasn’t got his side to the top of the league by playing hoof-it footy.

They can pass, they can play, they can adapt.

And having guided Norwich to promotion a couple of years ago, it’d take a brave man to think this Preston side are aiming for anything less.

READ:Charlton's Jason Pearce can't explain poor showing in 1-0 Preston defeat