Friday, 7 October 2011

Back to League business

Tomorrow sees our league campaign get underway once again with the visit of Tranmere Rovers to The Valley. We've played Rovers a lot over the years, particularly during the 1990's where both teams spent some time in the second tier of football.

There have been 28 matches involving the two clubs with each side winning seven games, and there have been 14 draws. In fact the last three fixtures all ended in 1-1 draws. Biggest wins for both sides came in the shape of 4-0 victories, all of them coming on Tranmere soil. Charlton of course managed this in 2009 in our first season in League One. Tranmere notched up two 4-0 wins against us, one in 1996 and one all the way back in 1972.

Tranmere made a decent start to the season losing only one of their first six games, an away defeat to Notts County. Results haven't been as good of late though having lost three of their last five league games, two of those defeats came at the hands of Huddersfield and Preston who are both on a good run at the moment.

Rovers are a side that like to play football. This is a bonus for us as we have done well against the footballing sides this season. Manager Les Parry has stated that they intend to stick to their usual game plan which means we could see a decent passing game from both sides if all goes well. Parry is confident of picking up a result against us on Saturday. Despite their recent losses the Tranmere boss thinks his team have been playing better than the results show.

Powell will revert to the usual starting XI though many are speculating that Kermogant and Danny Green could start the match with Hayes and Wagstaff missing out. The team should be fired up after the heavy loss against Brentford in midweek and Powell should not need to remind them what is at stake and what we need to do to get back to winning ways.

Other Charlton news worthy of a mention is that Nottingham Forest are trying to pry Paul Hart away from his position as Academy Director. It is said that the two clubs are in talks and it's just a matter of agreeing a compensation package. It seems that Forest are looking to bring in some more experience after David Pleat left the club last week.

It's hard to know exactly what kind of impact Paul Hart has had on Charlton. Hart hasn't been with us long, but he does have good ties with Nottingham Forest so it will not be a huge surprise if he does go. It will be disappointing however, as Hart has a good reputation for working with the young players, and finding a replacement with as much experience would prove very difficult.

Back to Saturday now and we are all hoping for a win. It's not going to be an easy game by any stretch, and I hope that the lads are fired up and ready to show the rest of the division that we might have wimped out of the JPT, but in the league, we are as strong as ever.

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