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Jose Riga hails Hillsborough win

21 April 2014

Charlton Athletic manager Jose Riga described the Addicks' 3-2 victory at Sheffield Wednesday as a "big, big step" in their bid for Sky Bet Championship safety.

All Athletic's goals were scored by Marvin Sordell after Wednesday had taken a two-goal lead within eight minutes as the south London side moved to 18th.

Atdhe Nuhiu put the Owls ahead in the third minute before Chris Maguire doubled the hosts' lead five minutes later.

However, Sordell pulled one back just two minutes later and, although Wednesday were the better side in the first half against a Charlton team who lacked confidence and strength, the striker scored a second three minutes before the break.

Sordell completed his hat-trick in the 63rd minute with a cool finish after getting between two defenders.

Riga acknowledged the significance of the victory although there will be no let-up by his side who are just two points clear of the drop zone.

He said: (It was) a big, big step today but we have the next game at home. If we can get the same result we will see after where we are.

"We have to finish the work, it is not today. It will be I hope in the next game or maybe just after that - not too long.

"I have a mission to be able to save Charlton."

Sordell battled away valiantly alone up front and took full advantage of sloppiness by the Wednesday defence.

For Riga, it was a welcome blossoming by the on-loan striker.

He said: "I have discussed with him a lot of times because I was aware of what he had done in the past, we were asking the same question - why not now?

"We have seen his performances during the training sessions.

"It helps us a lot when one of your strikers can find a way and today it made a big difference to the team."

Wednesday made an ideal start when Nuhiu volleyed home from a tight angle with the Austrian then turning provider five minutes later.

He marauded down the right and sent a crossfield ball which found Maguire in the penalty area and, although he lost his footing, the striker managed to recover and curl the ball home.

However, the visitors pulled one back almost immediately, Sordell capitalising on Wednesday indecision and sliding the ball past Chris Kirkland and into the bottom corner.

Then from nowhere, Charlton equalised three minutes before the break when Sordell shot across Kirkland to place the ball coolly in the bottom left-hand corner after being played in by Callum Harriott with the Owls ball-watching.

Sordell completed his hat-trick when he got between two defenders and calmly slotted the ball past the keeper into the corner.

Owls boss Stuart Gray was clearly frustrated by the outcome after his team had been in such control early on.

He said: "I go back to the Bournemouth game where we won 4-2 and we knew we were mathematically safe.

"But I said to the players the most important thing is that I don't want people accusing you of having your flip-flops on and you are on the beach.

"Credit to the players we came out of the traps and we go 2-0 up after eight minutes with two well-taken goals.

"We suddenly thought it was going to be a bit easy, we started running with the ball, misplaced passes.

"I am just so disappointed because I am talking here about three goals that have gone in again and I can't remember Kirky having a save to make.

"That's not just the first time, that is happening on a regular basis.

"We did complicate it, we started poor passing, decision making, and it gave Charlton a bit of a lift.

"So I am sat here scratching my head.

"I just wanted us to go on and get more goals."

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