Friday 31 January 2014

Sir Chris denies rift with Roland

Chris Powell denies that new Charlton owner Roland Duchatelet has agreed to sell two of the club's best players without speaking to him first, reports Bloomberg. Charlton have sold Dale Stephens to Brighton and accepted a bid from Bournemouth for Yann Kermorgant, who is expected to leave before tonight's transfer deadline. Powell is unhappy about losing the influential pair but can understand Duchatelet's decision to cash in, with both players having six months left on their contracts.

The manager insists he was consulted on both deals and dismisses reports that his relationship with Duchatelet has reached breaking point. There have been suggestions that Duchatelet, who bought Charlton less than a month ago, is already contemplating a managerial change but Powell hopes to sign a new contract soon. On the decision to sell Kermorgant and Stephens, Powell said: "I am aware of what is going on, absolutely. There is no problem there. Let's make this clear, I have always known we are vulnerable when players have got six months remaining on their deals. Yann and Dale are two very good players. I would prefer them to be here but there are decisions to make and they are being made.

"Football is a business and people do not want to lose money. We have new owners and they have ideas of how to run football clubs and financially what to do. We are all in the loop, every day there are exchanges of texts, emails and phone calls. I speak with Roland on a regular basis about ideas, strategy and what is right for the club."

Powell said: "It would be silly for us not to use the [Duchatelet] network because there are a number of talented players out there. Why not use that to our advantage? We have got a lot of games coming up so bringing in these players means we are going to be able to put some fresh legs in and keep the players up to a good standard. They will have to get used to what the Championship is about. We are under pressure like all the teams down there and we need to start picking up points.

"I've always wanted to improve the squad and the new boys are talented. I want the fans to know that we are trying to improve the squad to get the results that we want for them. Things are tough for the side at the moment and we want them to be behind us all the way."

Farewell, Ben Alnwick

Ben Alnwick has joined Leyton Orient on a permanent deal. I thought that he was a good goalkeeper and better than Ben Hamer. However, he was standing in the way of Thurman-Ulien taking the number one slot.

There are reports of another midfielder on the way from Standard Liege, but nothing confirmed yet.

There are also rumours that Yann Kermorgant has turned down a contract offer from Charlton, not a very good one apparently, and is to have a medical at Bournemouth according to a tweet from Richard Cawley. I will be sorry to see him go and had rather he stayed. However, some of the comments over the last few days have been OTT. He does not match up to Andy Hunt, goal poacher Clive Mendonca or Darren Bent in his prime.

Richard Cawley has also tweeted that Cedric Evina may go out on loan.

I have been reflecting on what drives Roland's model. This needs treatment at length and I have written something for the impending Voice of the Valley which I believe that Rick Everitt's elves are even now setting up in type.

Thursday 30 January 2014

Kermorgant could stay

There is currently uncertainty over whether Yann Kermorgant will leave Charlton and join Bournemouth. It has been reported that he is expected for training today.

Chris Powell told the South London Press 'Yann is arguably my best signing with regards to cost and what he's brought to the club. But he's in a situation where he has six months to go and the club have looked at the situation. There's been a discussion in trying to get a deal agreed but now there has been an enquiry.'

'Whether that will go through after talks between Yann, his advisors, Bournemouth and discussions with our club we're yet to see exactly what will happen. I know Yann is very attached to the club and the area. He's settled in really well in London. [He recently bought a house in Greenwich]. I 100 per cent would like him to stay but realise the position that he and the club are in.'

Parzysek to sign

As I have tried to suggest in earlier postings, one should judge the transfer window when it was over. All the indications were that signings were in prospect and Sky Sports News has announced that the Addicks are signing 20-year old Polish striker Pitor Parzysek. He is currently with Dutch club De Graafschap where he has scored 23 goals in 42 appearances in the Eerste (2nd divison). The club have confirmed the signing on their website: Pitor . He is now listed as a Charlton player on Wikipedia.

He will be on a four-and-a-half year contract, so no half measures there. At 6ft 3 inches he sounds like a Yann replacement. He will have a medical tomorrow and may be available for Wigan.

As someone remarked, it's going to be tough for Big Dave Lockwood announcing the Charlton team from now on as the squad becomes more cosmopolitan.

Chris Powell has tweeted from the press conference, 'I want the fans to know we are battling hard and doing the best we can. We need their support.' That does not sound like someone about to walk.

Bradley Pritchard and Jordan Cook are to go out on loan. Joe Pigott may go on loan to League 1.

'Gucci' has now signed on a permanent deal, but he has not played for several months and is not match fit.

According to tweets from Richard Cawley, the deal for Dale Stephens to go to Brighton has been concluded. On Stephens, Chris Powell said, 'Brighton have made a number of offers and Dale has expressed his right to speak to them if the club agreed a deal - which the club has. Obviously I would like Dale to stay. Everyone has seen this season that he has been playing at the level we always thought he could. There's still a lot more to come from him. He has got all the attributes to be a top player in the Premier League.'

However, Rhoys Wiggins has signed a four-and-a-half year contract and is staying.

The Daily Mail has published a highly speculative piece saying that SCP and RD do not see 'eye to eye' on a number of issues. Although short of substance, it may not be wide of the mark: Powell

Bring on the Arsenal!

Congratulations to the Academy team on beating Southampton 3-1 in the FA Youth Cup. The reward is a home match against Arsenal. Welcome news among all the doom and gloom. FA report of match here: Youth Cup

Taking of which, there has been a surprising silence from Ramsgate in this time of turbulence at The Valley. Possibly Rick Everitt has still be chasing disappearing wheelie bins in Thanet, but he has now tweeted to suggest that as, Richard Murray is responsible for communication with fans, presumably he will explain current thinking at some point.

Wednesday 29 January 2014

Cherries agree fee for Kermorgant

AFC Bournemouth have agreed a fee with Charlton for Yann Kermorgant according to Sky Sports News: Kermorgant

The fee is understood to be £500,000, a £100,000 advance on what was offered last week, and Roland Duchatelet has decided to cash in. Uncertainty over the future of Chris Powell has unsettled Kermorgant.

It is worth nothing that as Chris Powell mentioned to the Scottish Daily Record recently when Celtic were eyeing up both Kermit and Morrison is that both are free to agree a pre-contract deal as their contracts end in the Summer and any fee we would get for him (or both) would be likely to be nominal only.

If this is confirmed, I shall be very sorry to see Kermorgant go as the battling Breton has been a great servant to the club. Some of his set pieces have been spectacular. Unfortunately, he has not always got the service he deserved with long balls directed at his head.

Negotiations continue with Brighton and Hove Albion over Dale Stephens. Bournemouth are also reported to have expressed an interest in taking Rhoys Wiggins back who would certainly be a loss.

The club has confirmed that full back Loic Nego has signed on a three-and-a-half year deal for an undisclosed fee from our Hungarian sister club.

Gucci can't wait to sign

Standard Liege striker 'Gucci' can't wait to sign a two-and-a-half year deal for Charlton and hopes to play against Wigan (report in Flemish): Gucci . He had better get from Liege to the Gare du Midi and get on Eurostar as soon as he can.

Where's the right back from Hungary? We might need him on Saturday.

Tuesday 28 January 2014

Disaster at Donny

Charlton surrendered three points to a relegation rival at Doncaster tonight.

Charlton lined up with a 4-4-2 formation at the Keepmoat Stadium, with Yann Kermorgant back in the team and Dale Stephens with a strapped right wrist included despite reports of a move to Brighton. Cedric Evina played on the left side of midfield, having recovered from a knock at Huddersfield.

Jackson tried an early shot from distance, but it went wide of the target with the 448 Addicks behind Turnbull’s goal in a crowd of 7,289. Lennon stood up well and avoided giving away a free kick as Coppinger threatened.

Church threatened, but Meite defended well. Coppinger put in a decent ball but Alnwick claimed as Sharp threatened. Sharp looked dangerous after Jackson under hit a back pass, but Dervitte dealt with it well. They threatened again, but this time Morrison came to Charlton’s aid. Alnwick was eventually able to make a confident claim of the ball.

Sharp won the first corner for Doncaster off Morrison. The corner was headed clear by Cousins. Alnwick managed to push the ball clear from the throw in.

Doncaster were causing trouble down the right for Lennon and won another corner which was unproductive. After a Jackson free kick, Lawrie Wilson won a corner. Doncaster counter attacked.

Charlton were possibly defending too deep and allowing Doncaster to get their full backs forward. Johnnie Jackson had to clear the ball on the line. Then the ball was bundled in by Meite from very close range and Doncaster Rovers took the lead on 26 minutes.

Coppinger won a free kick off Dervitte in a potentially dangerous position. It came off Lennon for a corner which was won in the air by Dervitte.

Lawrie Wilson was sent off for a professional foul, the referee not having a choice, and Doncaster were given a penalty. Brown sent Alnwick the wrong way to make it 2-0 on 36 minutes. Evina went to left back and Morrison to right back with Jordan in the middle alongside Dervitte. Chris Powell looked pensive.

The ball floated into the box, but Dervitte got it clear. Wellens was unhappy with a challenge from Jackson. A shot went in from Coppinger which might have crept in, but Alnwick saved it. Almost immediately he had to make another good save from Sharp.

HT: Donny 2 , Addicks 0

Richard Wood was brought on for Evina. Simon Church was playing on the right of midfield. Alnwick punched a free kick clear. Morrison defended well against Brown and got the ball away from danger.

Doncaster won their fourth corner of the game. Wood had a false tooth knocked out and he gave it to the physio. It was a dangerous one and Alnwick had to tip the ball over the top at the expense of another corner which was headed clear by Kermorgant.

Cousins, who was battling away, picked out Church who got a shot away which went over the top. An effort from Duffy after a spell of possession football by Donny was claimed by Alnwick.

Duffy scored the third goal, putting the ball into the bottom corner. He had his back to the goal when he received the ball and had plenty of time to turn. It was far too easy for him.

Coppinger was charged down by Lennon as Donny threatened after no free kick was given when Dervitte was fouled. Husband floated in a free kick and Dervitte had to concede a corner. Charlton were given a free kick for a foul.

Alnwick saved a Duffy free kick comfortably. Fouls against Kermorgant and Jackson were ignored by the referee. Church was taken off and Harriott came on. Donny looked as if they were going to score their fourth, but Dervitte defended well. Donny made a double substitution.

Stephens, who had been booked was taken off, and ‘Astrid’ came on. Donny had a couple of more efforts on goal which were not far off target. Doncaster hit the bar from 35 yards out in stoppage time.

It was seven points from nine for Doncaster while there were no positives to take from the Charlton performance. It will be a dilemma who to play at right back on Saturday.

Dale Stephens to Brighton

It looks as if Dale Stephens is going to Brighton with talks on a cash offer at an advanced stage: Stephens

There are rumours that Rhoys Wiggins may join Yann Kermorgant in another south coast move to Bournemouth, but I can find no confirmation of this. However, Richard Cawley has tweeted that Bournemouth did make an offer of £400k for Kermorgant last week, which seems on the low side to me even though there is not long to run on his contract.

Cawley thinks that the failure of the old regime at The Valley to offer new contracts is partly to blame for the exodus. He says that our interest in Simeon Jackson continues and we have also looked at Liverpool striker Michael Ngoo. However, Swindon are also chasing the 21-year old. More about him here, but arguably we need someone with more experience: Ngoo

'Massive game' at Donny

Doncaster Rovers manager Paul Dickov has stated that tonight's match between Doncaster Rovers and Charlton Athletic is a 'massive game', giving Donny the chance to move four points clear of the drop zone: Doncaster

It's also a massive game for the Addicks and Chris Powell have stayed 'oop North to prepare after their morale boosting win over Huddersfield Town in the FA Cup. Doncaster's morale is also high after their recent win over Wigan. This was their only win since November, but they have scored five goals in their last two home games in all competitions, having failed to scored in any of their previous three matches.

Doom merchants, of whom there are plenty at Charlton, have been wallowing in our position in the relegation places. However, it is worth noting that we have a game in hand over Millwall and two over Doncaster and Sheffield Wednesday. That, of course, makes tonight's game even more vital.

Doncaster strikers Chris Brown (knock) and Harry Forrester will face late fitness tests ahead of the game. Forward Billy Sharp is likely to retain his place in the side. Cedric Evina will be assessed after sustaining a dead leg in the win over Huddersfield. Ben Alnwick will keep his place in goal while striker Yann Kermorgant returns after he was rested at the weekend.

The Addicks have won five of the seven meetings between the two sides, losing the other two. Charlton have won the past two matches at Doncaster with Rovers' only home win a 2-0 victory in the old Division Two in September 1935.

The estimable Blackheath Addick has been having a pop at Shakespeare recently which doesn't go down too well here in Warwickshire. I have reminded him of a Shakespeare quote: 'our doubts are our traitors'.

Odd are: Doncaster 6/4, Draw 12/5, Charlton 17/10. Referee Paul Tierney from Lancashire will ensure that the traditions of northern clogging are upheld. I think this could be the first draw between the two sides.

Monday 27 January 2014

Loic Nego to join Charlton?

As yet locally unconfirmed reports suggest that right back Loic Nego is to join Charlton from our Hungarian sister club Ujpest. More about him here: Nego . Hungarian sources appear to be suggesting that it is a transfer rather than a loan, but it's as difficult a language as Finnish with which it has affinities: Transfer

Football Scouting Hungary states that the Frenchmen from Guadeloupe was 'impressive in Hungary'.

Bournemouth in for Kermorgant

Sky Sports News and the South London Press are reporting that Bournemouth have made a bid for Yann Kermorgant: Kermorgant

I want him to stay, but I wonder if 'Gucci's' arrival may ease his departure?

Avram Grant rumour has no basis, but striker could sign

A Sunday newspaper carried a story yesterday linking former Chelsea coach Avram Grant with Charlton. Director of football could be a possible role.

I can find no basis for this story. Grant was the subject of another hoax recently when he was falsely linked with a post as technical director to the Ghana national team.

The story could have arisen in this way. Journo has light bulb moment as he realised that Standard Liege hired an Israeli coaches. What Israeli coaches are available? Hey presto! You have a story.

Richard Cawley of the SLP has tweeted that it looks as if the signing of Standard Liege Iranian striker 'my name is too big for my shirt' aka Gucci is going ahead. This has been in the offing for some time.

Sunday 26 January 2014

Belgian invasion boosts Addicks

That is the headline in the Football League Paper this morning. It notes that Roland Duchatelet 'recently took over the struggling Addicks and looks to be solving their woes by sharing resources [with Standard Liege].'

Astrit Ajdarevic or 'Astrid' as some supporters have dubbed him is the focus of the article. The Yugoslavian-born Swede joined Liverpool in 2007, but then went out on loan to Leicester City. Chris Powell, Yann Kermorgant and Michael Morrison were there. Hit by a hamstring injury which kept him out for six months he failed to make a first team appearance for the Foxes and was sent on to Orebro SK in Sweden.

He told the FLP, 'I'm different as a person and a player. I'm more mature. I've played in some big leagues and the national team. I don't feel I have a point to prove to anyone but myself and Charlton.'

On Chris Powell, he said: 'Chris is a good coach and a good man, he's fair and in football not a lot of coaches are fair. If he stays, he stays, if he goes, he goes. It's up to him I suppose.'

Unfortunately, Ajdarevic only got a '5' from the FLP for his performance at Huddersfield yesterday: 'Made little impression on the game, but showed a few nice touches.'

I am aware of the rumours concerning Hull City's Matty Fryatt. There is some uncertainty about his future at Hull, although his performance at Southend yesterday must have boosted his chances of staying. In any case, there is no independent confirmation of any link with Charlton.

Saturday 25 January 2014

Charlton through to 5th round

Charlton will be in the draw for the 5th round of the FA Cup with Budweiser tomorrow after they beat Huddersfield Town 1-0 in front of a crowd of 10,120. The winning goal was scored in the second half by Simon Church on 54 minutes after the home side has been opened up on the right by Lawrie Wilson. Ben Alnwick kept the Addicks in the game with a number of excellent saves and got a score of 8 from the Football League Paper on Sunday. Harry Lennon on in place of the injured Evina played well.

Yann Kermorgant was ruled out before the game, although he had travelled.

In the first half it was handbags at six paces after players from both sides faced off after the Dale Stephens went in late on Huddersfield's Adam Hammill on 29 minutes. Stephens was booked for the foul while Town's Anthony Gerrard and Addicks defender Michael Morrison saw yellow for their roles in the scrap which followed. Just beforehand, Huddersfield's Danny Ward was lucky to escape a booking for leaving his foot in on Cedric Evina. The Charlton full-back and Hammill were both injured and had to be substituted with the tension simmering. It came close to boiling over when Stephens brought down Oliver Norwood soon afterwards but he escaped with a warning.

Ward was denied a goal on 26 minutes by a smart parry from the goalkeeper Ben Alnwick after Paul Dixon put the home forward through. His fellow striker James Vaughan, making his first start after five games out injured, had a shot blocked after a neat one-two with Gobern. The Town wing-back Tommy Smith retrieved the ball and crossed from the right only for Norwood to head over from close range on 21 minutes. At the other end the closest Charlton came was a Johnnie Jackson header, which flashed just wide from a free-kick curled in by Stephens.

In the second half Alnwick denied Smith with a parry at his near post just before Church scored at the other end. Ward fluffed the chance to equalise by missing an open goal after the substitute Sean Scannell pulled the ball back from the byline on 62 minutes.

It was a dogged and resilient performance by the Addicks who showed considerable 'gumption' according to the Radio Leeds commentators. It is worth noting that the often overlooked Dorian Dervitte got a 7 from the FLP: 'An excellent performance from the defender who was a rock at the back.'

Unfortunately the draw secured by Doncaster has pushed Charlton into the relegation places.

Friday 24 January 2014

No splashing the cash

The Meet the Board video has finally been made available to subscribers to CAFC Player subscribers after unexplained delays in the editing suite. Perhaps Acworth managed to gate crash the event and had to be edited out. It would be nice if it could eventually be made available on You Tube for non-subscribers.

One message that came across loud and clear is that there is going to be no splashing the cash, although we knew that already. Roland Duchatelet said that the strength of the Academy was one of the things that attracted him to the club. Developing young players was very much the Standard Liege model. You couldn't buy success. Richard Murray made the point that with the greater financial stability RD had bought, it would no longer be necessary to sell promising players early because of financial pressures, citing the case of Carl Jenkinson. Players would be able to develop their potential at Charlton in the first team, enabling their full value to be realised when they were sold.

RD has good English, but is very softly spoken. One thing he is keen on is enhancing the match day experience through 'side events' at games, although he didn't give any examples. He was also keen to see that tickets did not become too expensive.

He was quite guarded in his comments on Chris Powell, saying that he still did not know him that well. However, he said that he was a very good coach and a great personality. There was a need to improve a little bit on some positions in the team and that was what he had been mainly talking to Chris Powell about.

Katrien Meire came across as a rather engaging personality. She implied that one thing that she picked up on was that internal communication was not all that it should be and information about what was not going well had not been reached the top level of the club. Thus she was encouraging staff to drop by informally to discuss problems, as well as instituting a weekly staff meeting. She would also be working with Chris Powell on strengthening for next season.

It all seemed quite sensible and prudent to me, although I know that some fans are worried about the resurrection of Richard Murray. My hunch is that the key person in all this will be Katrien Meire who is clearly very smart.

Diego Poyet in the spotlight

Diego Poyet is the focus of the FA preview of tomorrow's FA Cup tie between Huddersfield and Charlton. He will be on the bench and may get some game time: Poyet

The local Huddersfield paper rates Charlton as a 'capable side' and expresses regret that the change of regime at The Valley is likely to mean that Chris Powell's days are numbered: Chris Powell

Huddersfield strikers Nahki Wells and Joe Lolley are both ineligible for the match Fellow forward Martin Paterson (thigh) and defender Joel Lynch (groin/hip) remain doubtful, but leading goalscorer James Vaughan could return.

Les Rouges can include parent club Standard Liege loanees Yohann Thuram-Ulien and Astrit Ajdarevic in their squad. Chris Solly is unlikely to be available and may need another operation. Richard Wood may start after being rested in midweek but Rhoys Wiggins is suspended.

This is the fifth meeting in the FA Cup, with Huddersfield winning twice and Charlton once. The bookies have this down as a sure fire home win: Huddersfield 10/11, Draw 12/5, Charlton 3/1. I think we might secure a replay at The Valley.

Thursday 23 January 2014

Celtic check out Kermorgant

Celtic boss Neil Lennon made the long journey down to Oxford on Tuesday night to check out Yann Kermorgant: Kermorgant

No doubt he was impressed with what he saw and with just six months left on his contract he would not be an expensive option. However, he is only one of a number of strike options that Celtic are checking out and Charlton would be reluctant to let him go. Richard Cawley of the SLP has tweeted that Kermorgant wants to be reassured about Chris Powell's future before he discusses his own situation.

Apparently Lennon was also checking out Michael Morrison, but Kermorgant was his main focus.

Wednesday 22 January 2014

Smith to Swindon?

BBC Wiltshire have been reporting that Swindon Town have signed Charlton striker Michael Smith for £200,000, but this is yet to be confirmed. Chris Powell did, however, say to the press last night that Smith was talking to the Rocking Robins.

Richard Cawley of the SLP has recently tweeted that a deal has been agreed, £100k up front and £100k in add ons including a sell on clause. Charlton paid £75k for Smith.

Many Addicks would like to see him being given more of a try out with Charlton after his return from his successful loan spell with AFC Wimbledon. However, the fact that he was scoring goals in League 2 does not mean that he can do it against Championship defences and League 1 may well be his level.

Tuesday 21 January 2014

Charlton through to fourth round

It was a wet and windy night in Oxford as Charlton Athletic faced Oxford United in the FA Cup replay in front of a crowd of 3,225, but the pitch looked in good condition. Charlton won the first corner of the evening after three minutes, but it was unproductive.

Harriott put in a good cross, but Kermorgant was a little late in arriving. Wilson had to block an Oxford attack at the expense of a corner. Jackson headed the ball away, but then had to concede a second corner, followed by a third which was gathered by Alnwick who bowled the ball out well. Harriott put in a good cross from a free kick, but Church was unable to take advantage.

Oxford tried to apply some pressure around the half hour mark, but Morrison defended well. Then on 36 minutes Kermorgant scored with a great finish for Charlton from 20 yards after the Oxford back line had been cut apart with Church playing a key role. Then four minutes later Church burst away into the penalty area and turned provider for Green who scored to make it 2-0 to the Addicks.

HT 0-2

Early appeals for an Oxford penalty were waved away by the referee. The home side had most of the ball in the opening exchanges. Stephens gave away possession cheaply, but Oxford were not able to take advantage.

An effort by Harriott from 35 yards out led to a Charlton corner. The move led to an offside decision against the Addicks. From a free kick Kermorgant put in a curling effort that went over the wall to make it 3-0 to the Addicks.

Evina went down heavily and was holding his left ankle. Mullins brought down Kermorgant and got a yellow card. The free kick from Green was gathered by the keeper. Harriott was taken off and replaced by Pritchard.

With fifteen minutes to go Kermorgant was withdrawn and Sordell came on. Constable made an effort on target, the first from Oxford. It was comfortably saved by Alnwick. Oxford made a double substitution.

Dale Stephens was taken off and replaced by Diego Poyet making his debut. Green made an attempt on goal which was not far wide, although he could have passed to Wilson.

Diego Poyet talks about his debut here with comments by Chris Powell: Poyet

Danny Green hopes for cup run

Danny Green is hoping for a cup run, but first Charlton have to beat Oxford tonight and then go on to beat Huddersfield before they get near a cup run: Green

Having recovered from their Christmas blip, Oxford continued their run of form with a 1-0 away win over rivals Wycombe on Saturday. They are unbeaten away in the league, but at home have won four, drawn five and lost five. The heavy pitch at The Valley may also have suited them.

Charlton to bring forward in from Germany?

According to Richard Cawley of the SLP, Charlton are interested in bringing forward Simeon Jackson back from Germany. His career details here: Jackson

Cawley also says that Charlton continue to be interested in Ishmael Miller whom Yeovil are also chasing for another loan spell. Miller was interested in coming from Notts Forest to Charlton, but the previous regime at Charlton would not meet his wages. Doncaster Rovers have also expressed interest.

Sunday 19 January 2014

Yannis Mbombo in on loan?

As yet unconfirmed reports are suggesting that Yannis Mbombo may be the latest Standard Liege player to collect a Eurostar ticket to take him to Charlton (the South-Eastern part of the journey must be a shock). The 20-year old striker has made one appearance for Standard Liege, scoring a goal.

There are also reports that the Iranian striker 'Gucci', whom we have discussed before, may be considering a permanent move to The Valley.

Kish only knew swear words

The only English words Radostin Kishishev knew when he arrived at Charlton were swear words, according to Chris Powell. The Addicks manager told the Football League Paper, 'He used to just ask us questions in basic English and he took books everywhere. By the time he left he was more fluent in English than the English lads here.'

Powell was responding to questions about the new 'international feel' of the Charlton squad. He admitted that new keeper Yohann Thuram-Ulien speaks very little English, but does not see it as a problem: 'Football is universal. Once they understand the football language they'll be fine.'

Anil Koc parle

Some footage of Anil Koc playing (obviously his better moments) and an interview with him (in French): Anil Koc

Apparently he had an uncle who had a Turkish restaurant in Sevenoaks and used to visit The Valley and send him programmes. His favourite player was Clive Mendoca.

Saturday 18 January 2014

Addicks hover just above relegation zone

It was no surprise that an on form Middlesbrough beat Charlton at the Riverside today, but results around us did not go our way with Millwall, Doncaster, Barnsley and Yeovil all winning. As a result we are only separated from the relegation zone by goal difference.

A first half Emmanuel Ledesma goal on 19 minutes was enough for Middlesbrough to see off the Addicks. Ledesma's long-range effort squirmed under the body of Addicks keeper Yohann Thuram-Ulien, who was making his debut in the Charlton goal. Hamer was injured and Alnwick was also unavailable.

Charlton carved out the first chance in the second minute as Callum Harriott weaved in from the right and, although Boro man Dean Whitehead tackled him, he then played a poor square ball inside that was cut out by Athletic striker Yann Kermogant, who screwed his 18-yard effort well wide. Boro's first glimpse of goal came on seven minutes as forward Curtis Main had a poor pass cut out by defender Lawrie Wilson but then won it back in a tackle on the edge of the box before stabbing a low effort just wide. Charlton went close as Harriott picked out Jordan Cousins but his 20-yard effort on the turn flew straight at Shay Given.

Yann Kermorgant had the chance to fire his side ahead moments before the Boro goal, but failed to convert after some initial panic in the Boro boox. Thuram-Ulien did go some way to redeeming himself by pulling off two saves in succession, which kept the scoreline at 1-0.

Boro could have doubled their lead on 61 minutes as Carayol got to a knockdown but his shot to the far top corner was saved. Charlton thought they had scored on 70 minutes as Danny Green's deep cross looked to be drifting out and Kermogant hooked it back into the middle where Simon Church barged it home, but the referee ruled it out for a foul on keeper Given. Chris Powell is not happy about this decision.

Charlton also had a chance at the death to level the game, but failed to take the opportunity just moments after Rhoys Wiggins was shown a straight red card for a high-footed challenge. Kermogant cut in along the byline and drilled across the face of goal but an unmarked Church could not connect.

Addick named as Six Nations captain

Congratulations to Charlton Athletic fan Chris Robshaw. The Harlequins flanker as been named as England captain for the forthcoming Six Nations contest. A pitch appearance is called for as I am sure that its condition would give him no qualms.

Dragging the club into the 21st century

Outgoing chairman Michael Slater discusses his legacy at Charlton in an interview with the South London Press and talks of dragging the club 'kicking and screaming' into the 21st century: Slater

There is no doubt, as Slater argues, that football today is a business and he praises Roland Duchatelet's acumen. Exactly what his style will be remains to be seen but, despite negativity in some quarters, it is too early to form a judgment.

In an interesting interview with the BBC, Chris Powell says that he is still uncertain what direction the club will take under the new owner: Powell. He is still trying to build a relationship and is adjusting to a new structure which will involve more Belgians in the day-to-day running of the club.

Friday 17 January 2014

Tough task at Boro

It's not a great time to play Middlesbrough away with the Teesiders third in the form table and unbeaten in their last five matches. They have only been beaten at home twice all season.

Boro will be looking to edge themselves into playoff contention when they host the Addicks. They are currently six points behind sixth place, but a victory this weekend could put them right in the mix of the chasing pack, depending on results elsewhere.

Middlesbrough won the earlier meeting this season 1-0 at The Valley in August. They are unbeaten in the last seven meetings in all competitions, winning five. Charlton's last win was 2-1 in the Premier League at The Valley in March 2006. Middlesbrough are unbeaten in the last three meetings at the Riverside in all competitions, winning two. Charlton's last win was 3-0 in the Premier League in August 2005.

Boro beat an admittedly out-of-form Blackpool 2-0 away last week. Shay Given was excellent in goal, commanding his area well. The passing of Emanuel Ledesma split Blackpool open. The pace of Albert Adomah was a threat throughout.

Middlesbrough have signed versatile England Under-21 international Nathaniel Chalobah on loan from Chelsea for the remainder of the season. Chalobah is the second player to join Boro on loan from Chelsea this month following defender Kenneth Omeruo. He will be working under Aitor Karanka, formerly Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho's assistant manager at Real Madrid.

Hopefully we would have gone into this game with some sort of cushion from the home fixture against Barnsley. As it is, it is difficult to see us getting more than a point. However, Dale Stephens and Chris Solly should be available.

Odds: Middlesbrough 4/5, Draw 5/2, Charlton 7/2

Anil Koc en route

Anil Koc

Belgo-Turc Anil Koc is the latest Standard Liege player to head for Eurostar and 'le club satellite de Roland Duchatelet' Charlton Athletic: Anil Koc

The 18-year old right-sided midfielder has been at the club for just over a year and has made one appearance in the Belgian Pro League.

One downside of all this is that I had been planning to learn Portuguese which is very useful for everyday life where I live (I've already had use my faltering command this morning) but it looks as if I will have to brush up on my French.

Thursday 16 January 2014

Why Dwyer deal fell through

Dom Dwyer reveals why the possibility of him staying at Charlton fell through. He had a great time training there and had great respect for Chris Powell who was interested in signing him, but the new owners were not prepared to do a deal in time so the former King's Lynn striker has returned to the States: Dwyer

Nick Pope rejoins York City

Keeper Nick Pope has rejoined York City on loan for the rest of the season. He was recalled after Ben Hamer suffered an ankle injury, but his presence is no longer required after the arrival of the new keeper from Standard Liege. His place is the pecking order is unclear, but it would be surprising if he got no game time. I would favour Ben Alnwick starting at Boro.

Wednesday 15 January 2014

Play again for the Huddersfield prize

Charlton have won a replay with Oxford United for the prize of an away cup tie at Huddersfield following a 2-2 draw at The Valley last night.

Both sides took the opening few minutes to acclimatise themselves with the conditions on an extremely heavy pitch. Johnnie Jackson headed an early chance just wide from Laurie Wilson's cross, before United started to dominate. The visitors adjusted quicker to the conditions, taking no risks in their own half and looking to give the front two balls to chase.

From one of those, Constable forced a corner on 13 minutes. The initial delivery was cleared back to Davies, whose cross fell kindly to Mullins. He did not strike his shot cleanly, but the ball ricocheted off Michael Morrison and past wrong-footed goalkeeper Ben Hamer.

Having scored his first goal since September, things got even better for the centre back 11 minutes later. Playing in midfield, he robbed a dawdling Jordan Cousins just inside the Charlton half and found Constable. The striker wasted no time in sliding a pass to Davies on the overlap and after taking a touch to steady himself, he buried a shot past Hamer. United almost added a third just after the half hour mark when Sean Rigg's curler narrowly missed the target.

Charlton began to assert themselves in the final ten minutes of the half. Simon Church, who scored twice in the Addicks' 4-0 Capital One Cup win against the U's in August, had an opening when he neatly collected a cross, but Jake Wright slammed the door shut with a well-timed tackle. The United skipper got a let-off a minute later when he appeared to handle in the box, before looking up to see referee Stephen Martin waving away Charlton's protests for a penalty.

The Addicks were booed off at the break and began the second half looking like a team in a hurry. Within eight minutes Charlton were back in the game, when Morrison got free at a corner to bury a header past Ryan Clarke. United immediately replaced Marsh with Smalley and the substitute was involved in a move on the hour which ended when Hamer tipped Constable's header round the post.

Charlton looked more dangerous than in the first half. As the half wore on, the home side built up a head of steam. With seven minutes remaining the pressure told, as substitute Danny Green got the better of Tom Newey and crossed for Kermorgant to volley home an equaliser.

The Addicks almost got a winner in stoppage time, but David Hunt was in the right place to block Callum Harriott's goal-bound header.

Tuesday 14 January 2014

Congratulations, Chris Powell!

Today marks Chris Powell's third anniversary in charge at The Valley. This is some achievement when as many of half of England's 92 league clubs have had a manager who has been in position for less than a year and 23 managers have been fired since the beginning of the season.

Will there be a fourth anniversary? This depends on what happens in the rest of the season, how the relationship with Roland develops and whether the new owner thinks that the club needs a foreign manager. I would have thought the odds were against it.

Monday 13 January 2014

Keeper signs

As anticipated, Charlton have signed goalkeeper Yohann Thuram-Ulien on loan for the rest of the season from Standard Liege Thuram-Ulien

Interest in Cousins?

Newspaper reports are indicating that Everton might be interested in a £5m bid for Jordan Cousins. I can believe that Everton might have scouted the player, along with some other top teams, but I would be surprised if a bid came in during the January transfer window. The summer might be a different story.

Saturday 11 January 2014

The postponement: an alternative statement

Rick Everitt offers here an alternative statement to the 'we were misled by our ground staff and then the referee got it wrong' statement by the club: Pitch

Allez les rouges!

After all the excitement of the last week or two, there is the little matter of a six pointer against Barnsley at The Valley this afternoon. Barnsley have the worst away record of any team in the Championship, but our record against them has not been good of late. We have won only one of their last eight matches with them, the 6-0 victory at Oakwell last season. We last beat them at home in April 2008.

Swedish midfielder Astrit Ajdarevic could be in the Charlton squad after signing from Standard Liege, probably on the bench. Striker Marvin Sordell is out with a hamstring injury while full-back Lawrie Wilson is also a doubt (hamstring). Ryan McLaughlin is expected to make his debut for Barnsley after signing on loan from Liverpool.

Some Addicks are concerned about the departure of Cameron Stewart. He was speedy and could penetrate opposition defences and scored two wonder strikes. However, his reluctance to tackle, leading to us losing possession in midfield, worried me and those who sit with me.

A win would be nice for our new sporting director, who will be at the match, but I think that a 1-1 draw is more likely.

Odds are Charlton 19/20, Draw 5/2, Barnsley 14/5.

Friday 10 January 2014

Welcome Katrien Meire

Katrien Meire has been appointed to the Charlton board and will in effect act as Roland Duchatelet's representative, working from The Valley. Until now she has been Legal and International Relations manager at Standard Liege.

She has worked with three law firms that only recruit the brightest and the best: Freshfields, White & Case, Baker & MacKenzie. She has held a coveted 'stage' with the European Commission in DG COMP which deals with actions against football clubs for violating EU state aid rules (Swansea City are under investigation at the moment).

Duchatelet's statement on the Charlton web site seems measured and sensible to me.

Dom Dwyer to sign?

The one-time Norwich City Academy player has been training with Charlton in the hope of securing a loan move during Major League Soccer’s close season in America. However, his plans have remained on hold this month while the Addicks have been the subject of the takeover by by Belgian businessman Roland Duchatelet.

Dwyer, who spent his teenage years living in King’s Lynn,has confirmed he is hoping to complete a deal. Other outfits are rumoured to be keen on bringing the Sporting Kansas City star across the Atlantic for the next couple of months, but the 23-year-old, who admitted he has already enjoyed his time with the Addicks, has his heart set on joining them.

Dwyer is thought to have impressed Powell this winter after becoming a huge hit Stateside since taking up a soccer scholarship at Texas’ Tyler Junior College in 2009. His profile reached new levels last year when he capped a memorable season by lifting the MLS Cup with KC in December.

That success came off the back of the hitman’s loan spell at third tier Orlando City where he bagged 15 goals in 13 games to help his temporary club win the USL Pro championship.

Palace player in on loan?

Midfielder Elliot Grandin has been unable to secure a first team place at Sellout and may make a move to Charlton: Grandin

Sheffield Wednesday are also in the frame, but that would be a longer move north.

A cautionary note: this is a rare case of the player's agent going on record to talk up interest.

A winger, Grandin can also play as a central attacking midfielder, so would meet some needs. He is a French player of Congolese origin so would fit in well with what is likely to increasingly be a French language environment at Sparrows Lane: Career

Interest in Morrison

According to Sky Sports, a number of clubs are monitoring Charlton defender Michael Morrison's contract situation at The Valley. They understand that several Championship sides and Celtic are keeping tabs on highly-rated centre back Morrison. The 25-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season and as yet there has been no new offer of a new deal at Charlton.

The news has alerted a host of sides to Morrison's possible availability with the 25-year-old establishing himself as one of the best defenders outside the Premier League. The former Leicester City and Sheffield Wednesday man has already made over 300 appearances in his career and is vice-captain at Charlton. Charlton are thought to be keen to keep Morrison, but could find their resolve tested this month as his suitors weigh up moves for the player.

However, one well-informed source made the following interesting point, 'I think maybe Players' Agents' are trying to force Charlton's hand to offer new contracts to their clients by means of stating interest from other clubs, which may well be just casual enquiries.'

Thursday 9 January 2014

Stoke in for Stephens

Stoke City are reported to being considering a £1m bid for Dale Stephens. The local press are, however, sceptical about whether he could make the step up from struggling Charlton to the Premiership: Stephens

Burnley and Wigan are also said to be interested.

Wednesday 8 January 2014

Keeper agrees loan deal

Yohann Thuram-Ulien has agreed a loan deal with Charlton and for the rest of the season and should be arriving on Eurostar in the next day or two.

I'm not sure I agree with the analysis from across La Manche that our main problem is a defensive one and I would have thought that our most pressing need was for a striker, but there you go: Thuram-Ulien

Leeds close on Stewart deal

With Leeds United close to a takeover deal by a consortium that will release transfer funds, they are seeking to set up a deal that will secure the services of Cameron Stewart.

They are attempting to secure Stewart by signing him on emergency loan with Football League rules preventing the winger from making a permanent transfer to Elland Road. Leeds intend to hand Stewart a 93-day deal after appearances for the Tigers and Charlton this season ruled out the possibility of the 22-year-old accepting an immediate, full-time contract.

But United are likely to reach an agreement which guarantees Stewart a permanent move when his deal at Hull City expires in the summer.

Ozturk has not left Standard Liege

Alpasan Ozturk has not left Standard Liege and is likely to go to Turkey, but, somewhat surprisingly, they may loan us a goalkeeper. We do not really have a need there, but they do have two strikers who might come over on loan.

Standard Liege manager, Guy Luzon, said in an interview that Yohann Thuram is the only major player likely to leave Standard during the winter transfer window. Alpaslan Öztürk has not left Standard.

The transfer was announced on Saturday was a six-month loan without option to Charlton. But the Belgian-Turkish player said yesterday that he preferred to join Turkey , where many clubs are interested. A Turkish source said Öztürk will most likely be loaned to Kasimpasa for six months.

Guy Luzon also said goalkeeper Yohann Thuram is the only major player likely to leave Standard during the winter transfer window. Many Ligue 1 clubs where the goalkeeper still enjoys a large popularity are interested but in pole position at the moment is none other than ... Charlton ! It would be a free loan option: Standard understands that the player needs game time, which was not possible due to a combination of circumstances, but is not willing to let go permanently.

Astrit Ajdarevic is already officially on loan for six months, after Yohann Thuram, there are other Standardman possibly likely to join the London club before the end of the winter transfer window. Charlton need a striker and Standard have two who could possibly go on loan to Charlton. They are Dudu Biton and Reza Ghoochannejhad (the Iranian player we have discussed on this blog before).

Tuesday 7 January 2014

Powell's preference for 4-4-2

Chris Powell discussed his preference for a 4-4-2 formation on the Footballers' Football Show on Sky yesterday evening. He did experiment with a 3-5-2 system as a way of packing his midfield yet guaranteeing Charlton remained potent as an attacking force.

But Sir Chris said that formation puts heavy strain on the wing-backs. "You should always try to play with two strikers if you can and the 3-5-2, which I played in under Jim Smith at Derby, gives you that option," said Powell.

"It works if your outside centre-backs are comfortable in full-back positions - Michael Morrison, who I have played on the right of a three at Charlton, is - but the legwork is done by the wing-backs. As a full-back you are used to feeding your winger and then overlapping or underlapping him but as a wing-back you have to deliver crosses and then get in the box when your other wing-back is delivering, as well as get back and defend."

A tactis board was used in the Sky studio but the Addicks manager said he uses that apparatus sparingly whilst coaching his players. His preference is to work through moves with players on the pitch which is their workplace.

Monday 6 January 2014

Danny Green out on loan?

Richard Cawley of the SLP is reporting considerable loan interest in Danny Green, but wonders whether Chris Powell will let him go. That might depend on who arrives on Eurostar from Belgium.

It looks as if Cameron Stewart is going to be signed by Leeds United. Certainly speedy, but oddly reluctant to tackle.

Sunday 5 January 2014

Acworth asks for high up position

Charlton Athletic fan Jonathan Acworth has demanded a high up position as a reward for the work he put in securing the club's takeover. In fact, we can reveal that Acworth never got as far as 'B' for Belgium.

Acworth was working off an old school atlas, going through countries alphabetically. He started off with Afghanistan and did actually manage to get through to a Taliban chief in his cave. The chief admitted that now that Osama bin Laden was dead, it was no longer obligatory to be a Gooner if you were in the Taliban. In fact, quite a lot of his lads were now following Millwall.

Nevertheless, Acworth was promised a warm welcome if he made it to Afghanistan. However, his plans were thwarted when he found that for some reason neither Easyjet or Ryanair flew to Kabul.

He then turned his attentions to Albania where he was in talks with some pyramid selling magnates. As a back up, he was talking to cigarette smugglers in Andorra. He never got as far as Belgium.

Saturday 4 January 2014

Alpaslan Ozturk en route pour Charlton?

Alpaslan Ozturk is the latest Standard Liege player reported to be en route to Charlton: Ozturk

He can play at right wing or midfield. Born in Antwerp, he is of Turkish descent and has played for Turkey at Under 21 level. He spent two years at Birmingham City without appearing in the first team: Career

See him score a rather good goal when he was 'The Bear of Beerschot': The Bear

What exactly has Roland bought?

Rick Everitt's elves were so busy over the Christmas period that it is quite an achievement for the Rickster to produce three online articles in a week, especially when he might have been at Ramsgate beach yesterday watching the storm. However, it is a calmer prospect at The Valley now, although Rick does raise some issues about exactly what Roland Duchatelet has bought, given that The Valley and the Sparrows Lane training ground were owned by a distinct company. Read the article here: Voice of the Valley

There has been some interesting debate among fans over the merits or otherwise of the Slater/Jiminez regime. We were never told how much they invested and how much came from 'Mr Big'. We assume that this was not Ronnie Biggs, despite the fact that he went to his final resting place with a Charlton flag draped over his coffin.

For now I prefer to look to the future and our first acquisition, the attacking Swedish winger, looks just what we need if we are to chant 'Up the Football League we go.' Another early priority is to sort the pitch out, with the rearranged Oxford game unlikely to go ahead.

Friday 3 January 2014

Free of timewasters at last

Retiring Charlton director Tony Jiminez says that he and his fellow directors were plagued by time wasters over the last few months as several offers were made for the club. Jiminez pays a warm tribute to Chris Powell: Jiminez

However, Jiminez does not make any reference to Jonathan Acworth despite his efforts to set up a deal from his bijou flat in Greenwich. Acworth's letter to the Belgian beginning 'Bon jour monsieur, c'est votre ami Jonathan Acwoth qui parle' is regarded as a masterpiece of Franglais.

The Royal Borough of Greenwich has tweeted a warm welcome to new owner Roland Duchatelet, leading one local blogger to speculate that, given that such a welcome was not given to other buyers, perhaps the question of a move to the Peninsula will be raised.

Thursday 2 January 2014

It's a done deal

Charlton have become a Belgian owned club, reports the South London Press but at a price of £20m, not the £14m originally reported: Takeover

The takeover has now been announced on the club's official site, confounding the sceptics who disregarded information coming from reliable sources. Richard Murray will become non-executive chairman.

Swedish midfielder Astrit Ajdarevic is the first of a number of players to join on loan from Standard Liege, in his case on a six month deal: Ajdarevic . Anyone around the Gare Centrale in Brussels should keep a lookout for other Standard Liege players boarding Eurostar.

It is understood that Roland Duchatelet is currently in the country. Contracts giving him control of the club are expected to be signed Friday morning. The contracts of players and staff will need to be sorted out. Chris Powell has expressed nervousness about his future, but hopefully he will be allowed to remain in place and given much needed funds to strengthen the club. In the longer run, however, a foreign owned club may require a foreign manager.

Cup game is off

Following a pitch inspection at The Valley, it has been confirmed that the cup game with Oxford United has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. An Oxford United tweet suggests that it may be held next Wednesday, but I have no confirmation of that.` For those of us who travel some distance, it is better to know in advance, rather than when we have already paid for a train ticket and are en route. However, I doubt whether I would be able to make a Tuesday evening game because of work commitments.

Meanwhile, Rick Everitt has set out a forceful critique of the decision to close the East Stand for the game, arguing that the claimed cost savings do not stack up and that the decision has reduced revenue: East Stand. Paradoxically, some of the arguments he makes have less force if the game is postponed and the rearranged fixture attracts a smaller crowd.

Oxford anticipate as many as 4,000 travelling supporters, but their numbers would also be depleted by a postponement: Oxford United <.p>

Some Addicks have argued that a postponement could incentivise the players if we get an attractive draw for the fourth round. Knowing our luck, we are more likely to get a League 1 side away than Manchester City.

Sordell may depart

Small groups of fans gathered around The Valley rending their shirts and wailing as word came through from Bolton that Marvin Sordell may be recalled to the Reebok and loaned out to another club because of a lack of game time at Charlton: Sordell

Charlton interested in Iranian striker

Iranian sources are reporting that Charlton are interested in an Iranian striker, but it would also seem to be linked with the Roland Duchatelet deal going ahead which looks less likely as time passes by.

The Iranian Student News Agency reports, 'Charlton Athletic FC is the latest club that has shown interest in Team Melli striker Reza Ghoochannejhad who is currently playing for Standard Liege FC in Belgium.In order to acquire Ghoochannejhad, Charlton has sent its official request to the Belgian club.

'Gucci' [preferable for his shirt], as the Iranian striker is nicknamed, had much success playing for the Iranian national team in 2013, but he did not enjoy the same at his club in the Belgian league. Consequently, Ghoochannejhad announced that he is looking forward to join a new club by January 2014.

Reportedly, 'Gucci' will thrive to get much more playing time in his new club so that Carlos Queiroz will continue to invite him for Team Melli preparations and the finals of the World Cup 2014 Brazil.'

Our experience with Karim Bhageri does not lend confidence, but there were possibly non football agendas there.

Wednesday 1 January 2014

Festive unbeaten run continues

Charlton's festive unbeaten run continued with a 1-1 draw at Ipswich Town today in front of 780 Addickted in very wet conditions. A Johnnie Jackson goal in the 90th minute from an assist by Simon Church offset an own goal conceded by Richard Wood in the first half.

It required a fine save from Dean Gerken to keep the scores level in the 17th minute. Yann Kermorgant’s low shot from 25 yards was heading for the bottom right corner of the goal after taking a deflection off of Christophe Berra, but Gerken did well to turn the ball around the post at full stretch. Charlton went behind through the own goal on 23 minutes after a cross came in from the left.

On 38 minutes Kermorgant’s clever reverse pass had put Cameron Stewart clear in the box, he cut back across Chambers and appeared to have his heels clipped by the stranded full-back. Referee Stuart Attwell was unimpressed. In fact, he booked the Charlton winger for ‘simulation’ as well as showing Berra a yellow card for his foul on Kermorgant in the build-up.

The Tractors sat back and attempted to protect their 1-0 lead after the restart and, in a rare attack, were awarded a spot-kick in the 78th minute when Jordan Cousins barged Paul Anderson to the floor following a corner. Addicks keeper Ben Alnwick dived full stretch to his left to keep out McGoldrick’s spot-kick though, pushing it against the inside of the post. Alnwick is surely making a case to keep the shirt when Hamer is fit.

Ipswich began to sit deeper and deeper and they were punished just as the fourth official raised the board to indicate four minutes of stoppage-time. Rhoys Wiggins lofted a high ball into the box from left-back, Kermorgant won the headed knock-down at the far post and, after Simon Church laid the ball off with his back to goal, Jackson – on as an 80th minute sub – struck a shot into the ground, the effort taking a deflection off the thigh of Berra and wrong-footing Gerken.

Millwall lost at home to Leicester and Doncaster lost at QPR, but Sheffield Wednesday beat Blackpool at home. Yeovil's game was postponed. Charlton remain top of the Championship Relegation League at 19th.

Ipswich began to sit deeper and deeper and they were punished just as the fourth official raised the board to indicate four minutes of stoppage-time.

Any hope at Ipswich?

With Mick McCarthy's Ipswich in the play off places, and third in the form table, there might appear to be little grounds for optimism about today's fixture between the Tractors and the Addicks. Ipswich are unbeaten in their last seven matches. However, Charlton have lost on only one of their last four outings to Portman Road. Last year we won 2-1, but Ipswich were a much weaker team then and there is no doubt that Mick McCarthy's pragmatic approach has worked well: Mick McCarthy

Chris Solly should be back in contention, while hopefully Rhoys Wiggins will be available. They were both missed in the game against Sheffield Wednesday. Addicks will be able to bid a tearful farewell to Cameron Stewart as he heads back to Hull, possibly en route to Leeds. Two great strikes, but not much else.

After a draining draw at Bournemouth, McCarty is considering freshening up his side: Tractors

Warwickshire's Stuart Attwell is referee, so I will be paying him a call if there are any daft decisions.

I am going for an Ipswich 2-1 win. Odds are: Ipswich 10/11, Draw 12/5, Charlton 3/1.