Parkinson Post Play-Off Defeat
Charlton's play-off dreams ended in the cruellest possible way on Monday as we lost out to Swindon Town on penalties at The Valley.
2-1 down from the first leg on Friday we came back to be holding a 2-0 lead (3-2 on aggregate) going into the final 15 minutes but Swindon scored to level it up at 3-3. Extra Time couldn't separate the sides so a penalty shootout was needed, and this saw us lose 5-4.
Phil Parkinson said the players were devastated but he was proud of everything that we've achieved this season after a nightmare 18-months, Parkinson sold Sky Sports: "It's the cruellest way to go out, everybody knows that, but I have to say that these players have put the pride back into Charlton Football Club this season.
"It's a club which has had its heart kicked out of it in the last 18 months but the way the lads have played all season, we couldn't have asked for any more from them.
"To go out on penalties is cruel and the lads are speechless in the dressing room but I have said they should be proud of themselves this season. When the big games have come along they have risen to the occasion and produced a performance like they did tonight.
"We could talk about one or two mistakes, but the effort and pride they showed in that shirt was top class."
It was Addicks skipper Nicky Bailey that proved to be the unfortunate one who saw his missed penalty prove costly, his penalty was the only one missed in the shootout. Parkinson only had praise for the midfielder though, Parkinson added: "He's distraught, he's inconsolable, but I have said that there have been so many games that he has won for us this season.
"He has put in match-winning performances, be that a last-gasp block or a tackle or a last-minute goal like he got to get us a point at Swindon earlier in the season.
"In penalty shootouts someone has to be the fall guy and we are disappointed it had to be one of our lads, especially Nicky Bailey who has been such an inspirational leader."
The Addicks bosses own future isn't clear, however he insists that staying at SE7 next season is what he's hoping to do, Parkinson finished by saying: "Of course I would (like to stay on), but now is not really the time for that. We will have a couple of days to get our heads together and see where we go from here."
There isn't much that can be said to act as comfort for any of us really is there? In the days ahead this failure will get easier and we'll then regroup and prepare for next season.
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