Against Nottingham Forest tonight Charlton face a team that also won 3-0 on Saturday, demolishing Reading 3-0 away. Forest are currently top of the form table while Charlton are 8th. In the real table Forest are currently 9th, nine points off Norwich in the lowest play off place. However, under Dougie Freedman, they must fancy their chances of making up this ground before the end of the season.
Even so, Freedman is concerned that the rejuvenated Forest side may not have enough games left. The former Palace manager commented at the weekend that teams higher up the table kept winning their games.
Forest did not have it all their own way against the Royals. After initially controlling the game with their passing, Freedman said, 'In last 15 minutes of the first half, we were by far the second best team. We had to defend for our lives, keep our bodies on the line, and the keep the ball out of the net.' Forest took the lead in the 56th minute with a well-struck left-footed curling effort by Osborn from 30 yards out.' Osborn was the standout player for Forest, getting a mark of 8 from the Football League Paper.
The away encounter earlier in the season ended 1-1 and our recent record against Forest has been reasonably good. However, they will be looking to take all three points tonight or at least secure a draw. The bookies do not see our prospects as all that good (Coral): Charlton 2/1, Draw 9/4, Nott'm Forest 11/8.
Charlton have a couple of injury worries in Gudmundsson and Solly who suffered muscle strains in Saturday's match. Tal Ben Haim will face a late fitness test and Johnnie Jackson remains out for some time. Gudmundsson is our second leading scorer after Igor with seven league goals. The contribution that vice-captain Solly brings to the team in terms of effort, determination and skill needs no emphasis.
Some fans have been working themselves into a lather about season ticket prices for next season, pointing out that they have not in fact been frozen as the club claims, or at least only in comparison with post early bird prices last year. The raising of the senior concession from 60 to 65 had some fans spluttering in their Bovril, but it seems reasonable enough, particularly when the club clarified that existing season ticket holders in the 60 to 65 age range could continue at the concessionary price.
Once again the communication was poor, but it looks as if some fans are looking for any stick with which to beat the current regime while they wait for a resurgent Valley Party to march from Woolwich.
Much to my regret the time at which I will be leaving work today, and the lack of foresight of I K Brunel leading to a severed rail line, means that I will not be able to make tonight's game. I am going for a 1-1 draw.