Goalkeeper Stephen Henderson was left to face the media amid speculation interim head coach Karel Fraeye’s Charlton future is in doubt following the 5-0 defeat at Huddersfield.
Goals from Mark Hudson, Nahki Wells, Jamie Paterson, Duane Holmes and Jason Davidson gave the Terriers their biggest victory of the season and the Addicks’ run without a win was stretched to 10 games.
The visitors’ misery was complete with the late dismissal of substitute Reza Ghoochannejhad for two yellow cards in the space of just over a minute following reckless tackles on Davidson and Harry Bunn.
The Addicks remain second from bottom, three points now from safety, and the pressure is mounting on Fraeye with reports suggesting club owner Roland Duchatelet is poised to bring Jose Riga back to The Valley.
Henderson apologised to the travelling fans, saying: “As you can imagine I think the lads are lower than they have ever been in their careers right now.
“I feel numb and a few players are unable to speak. It’s a position I’ve not been in before and that’s all I can say.
“Let’s be honest, it could have been more at Colchester in the FA Cup as well. I take responsibility for the second goal. Second half they were confident and we gave them another three goals.
“It’s embarrassing really, we didn’t have our first shot until the 92nd minute.
“I’d like to apologise to our travelling fans. I know they think I won’t mean it but the real fans will know I genuinely want to apologise for that shocking performance.”
Asked about Fraeye’s future he said: “Does there have to be a change made? Without a doubt.
“I don’t know what to say to that because I’m in a position where I’m not too sure what’s going on.
“I’m numb because I can’t believe we’re getting done like that to Huddersfield, no disrespect to them but we can’t be losing 5-0 to them, we just can’t.”
Belgian Fraeye left the dressing room without comment and went straight to the waiting team bus.
The players remained in the changing rooms until 10.30pm when Henderson finally emerged to speak for the crisis club.
German head coach David Wagner insisted Huddersfield had played better in previous matches.
Wagner’s brand of ‘full-throttle’ football was in evidence in patches but in truth half throttle would have been too much for Charlton.
“It wasn’t bad,” said Wagner. “I’m happy of course, but it wasn’t an easy game. After the game it seems easier than it was.”
When asked if it was Town’s best performance since he took charge in November, the former Borussia Dortmund reserve-team coach said: “No. It was our biggest win and another clean sheet and the first time we scored five goals in a game.
“But we have had games where we played better. For example against Middlesbrough (on November 28), a game that we lost, but to be honest it was the first time we played against an opponent who stood so deep in their own half.
“The boys created some good moments, but against a side which does this we must find some better solutions, not just rely on set-pieces to score the first and second goal. I think we’ve had better games than today.”
Wagner praised Joe Lolley for his contribution but claimed tireless midfielder Jonathan Hogg was the game’s outstanding player.
“Joe has very good form at the moment,” Wagner added. “He’s full of confidence and has a very good touch. It was the first time since I arrived that he was able to start two games in a row.
“We have to build up his fitness and keep him confident, but for me the best player on the pitch was Jonathan Hogg.
“What he’s showed in the last few games is unbelievably good. Great play from Jonathan. He is a real terrier.”
Huddersfield: Steer, Smith, Hudson, Lynch, Davidson, Hogg, Huws, Bunn, Paterson, Lolley, Wells.
Subs: Miller, Murphy, Cranie, Husband, Duane Holmes, Dempsey, Billing.
Charlton: Henderson, Solly, Johnson, Lennon, Fox, Poyet, Williams, Jackson, Gudmundsson, Vaz Te, Harriott.
Subs: Sarr, Makienok Christoffersen, Ghoochannejhad, Holmes-Dennis, Charles, Pope, Moussa.
Referee: Geoff Eltringham (Tyne & Wear)