It is often said that any team facing a relegation threat needs to focus on its own results and not worry about those of others. That's good advice, particularly when Charlton are facing two tough matches. However, given the pessimism that afflicts fans about their own teams, there is a risk of thinking that every team below you is invincible and will win all their remaining matches, leaving aside that some of those matches will be against other relegation threatened teams.
It's not a level playing field in the Championship because many teams either have parachute payments, becoming even more generous from next year, or wealthy owners ready to splash the cash on the Cardiff Red Dragons etc. Parachute payments were originally intended to ease the transition from a higher level, although most teams now include relegation clauses in players' contracts. However, their size and duration is now such that they have a distorting effort, creating two categories of team in the Championship, those competing for the top flight and those seeking to keep away from the dreary confines of League 1.
So what of of some of the other teams looking over their shoulder? Huddersfield are one place below us but are 8th in the form table, whereas we are 17th (which could be our final position). Blackpool, one place below us in the form table and two in the actual table, could be in some risk. They have faced managerial upheaval and I am not convinced that Paul Ince is the man to get them out of trouble. Indeed, after the 0-1 home defeat to Peterborough, Ince admitted they are in a battle to avoid the drop.
Ipswich did manage to beat Bolton 1-0 in their last game. They have not been firing on all cylinders all season. I would be surprised if they were relegated, but they could finish below us. Blackburn are bottom of the table and their troubles have been well advertised. Their fans fear a second relegation in a row and one can see why. Whether 'global adviser' Shebby Singh can pull them around remains to be seen, but somehow I think that the end of season chicken barbecue will be marked by relief at escaping the drop.
Dave Flitcroft has won 10 games out of 16 since he took over at Barnsley and they are now 7th in the form table. Just below them in the real table are Sheffield Wednesday who are in the 'too big to go down' category and probably they are. Milan Mandaric is not without resources, but even his funds are dwarfed by some of the money available in Premiership 2.
Peterborough keep plugging away and they have soared up the form table. But I still have doubts about whether they can survive. As for Wolves, it seems to me that their season shows that constant changes of manager do not bring success, although some singularly odd choices have been made at Molineux. If they had kept Mick McCarthy, they might have been in contention for promotion.
As for Bristol City, Stephen Hargreaves is a wealthy man, having set up fund supermarket Hargreaves Lansdown with his business partner. However, there are limits to his wealth and when you take account of his interests in egg chasing and the difficulty encountered in finding a new home for City, one suspects that they may not escape relegation.
The next five matches look tough and a lot may depend on the last three. I can remember Wolves at home being vital before and it may just be a match we can win at home. Steve Gibson has to pay a £1m a month to keep Middlesbrough afloat and it isn't looking as if they are going to make the play offs. So mid-table mediocrity may be their lot by the end of the season, giving Charlton a chance to display their away skills. I just hope it doesn't all come down to Bristol City at home, as one can imagine a scenario where Bristol City have already been relegated and we need to beat them to be sure of staying up. Such challenges have not been unknown in Charlton's history. If you support the Addicks, it is a roller coaster ride.