Preview

What a difference two weeks can make in football. I remember walking back to my car following that humiliating opening day defeat to Bournemouth with an abject feeling about the new season and the next home match couldn't have been less appealing.

Well, since then we've parted company with manager Mark Robins and given temporary charge to academy boss Mark Lillis, we've come from 2 goals down to beat Chesterfield in the League Cup, given a strong Cardiff team a good run for their money and then against, what seemed like, all odds we went and beat Reading in their own back yard.

Suddenly there is an air of optimism around the club. As I type away on this friday morning there are rumours that a new manager is close to being announced and with that win on Tuesday I know I, for one, can't wait to see Mark Lillis take charge for what could be his final game against a buoyant Charlton Athletic side following their impressive 3-2 victory over Derby in midweek.

Likely Line-up

With several injuries in the side already it's unclear who will be available for this one but this match is probably too soon for the likes of James Vaughan and Anthony Gerrard, although it is rumoured that the two are nearing a return. The midweek departure of Oliver Norwood to Reading means we are unlikely to see any changes in the middle whilst Tuesdays young debutant Harry Bunn will be hoping to make his first home start of his career following his impressive performance and goal against the Royals.


Prediction

Town 2 -1 Charlton

Probably letting my heart rule my head here but you'd hope that confidence is starting to show within the camp now and there will be a desire to put on a performance in front of the home fans, so with that in mind I'm going to pick Town to just edge this one.


Know Your Enemy

Throughout this season, Thrice Champions will be getting the views of opposition fans, bloggers and podcasters so you know the story behind the club they know so much about.

Ahead of yet another fixture against Charlton Athletic at the weekend, we spoke to Kyle Andrews who blogs about the Addicks on his site 'Chris Powell's Flat Cap'.

Here's what he had to say to our questions...


TC: After last seasons relegation scrap, what would you class as a good season for Charlton?

CPFC: If you had asked me this two weeks ago, I'd have said just staying up. But we've shown ourselves to be a very capable side in the opening few games of the campaign, and I don't think it's unrealistic to expect a little bit more as a result. There's every chance we could finish closer to the top six than the bottom three.

 

TC: How do you feel the transfer window has gone for you so far?

CPFC: After an absolutely horrendous transfer window in January, and a disappointing start to this one, there has been a genuine attempt to correct the mistakes that were made. 

Focusing on this summer, a number of key players, including Ben Hamer and Dorian Dervite, departed on a free despite stating they wanted to stay as the club were too slow to offer deals. Losing Diego Poyet was obviously a huge blow, too.

But the new recruits have impressed and our starting XI is a strong one. We are, however, lacking numbers - a few more additions before the end of the month and I'll be happy.

 

TC: What is the feeling amongst fans over the appointment of Bob Peeters?

CPFC: When Peeters was first appointed, most fans were fairly disillusioned for the second time in the space of a few months. The sacking of Chris Powell had hit supporters hard, especially given the manner of it, but Jose Riga did an excellent job and became a likeable figure. He really deserved another go, and certainly didn't deserve to be shafted without being told the reasons why he wasn't going to get an extension to his short term contract.

But Peeters has said all the right things, got his side gelled quickly and got the Addicks playing slick and attractive football. It, of course, doesn't make the unfair dismissals of Powell and Riga right, but Peeters seems to be a fine coach.

 

TC: Do you believe Charlton have the fire power up front to cause teams problems ?

CPFC: Definitely. In fact, the most marked characteristic of this side is the way in which it drives forwards with intent.

 

TC: Which Charlton player should Huddersfield fans worry about?

CPFC: Igor Vetokele and Johann Berg Gudmundsson have all the qualities of genuine match winners. Striker Vetokele is powerful, direct and quick, while winger Gudmundsson loves to cut inside and has the ability to play a defence splitting ball.

 

TC: Which Huddersfield player do you think Charlton fans should worry about?

CPFC: I'm extremely worried about Nahki Wells' pace against our relatively slow centre back pairing of Tal Ben Haim and Andre Bikey. The pair are clever and make up for their lack of pace with a brilliant ability to read the game, but Andre Gray caught them out a few times in our opening game against Brentford. Gray couldn't punish them, but a striker with Wells' goal scoring ability might.

 

TC: What have you made so far of your start in the Championship

CPFC: I'm still trying to come to terms with how well we've done. I expected a point or three from our first three games, especially with a new side coming together, so to have seven is an incredible effort. 

What makes it more impressive is that we've deserved those points - the performances over Wigan and Derby were more than worthy of resulting in victory over such strong opposition.

 

TC: What is your prediction for Saturday?

CPFC: It would be oh so very Charlton if, after beating two promotion hopefuls, we suffered defeat to lesser opposition. I'm confident, though. I'll go for a 1-0 win - it would be nice to get our first league clean sheet of the season.

 

TC: How bored are you of playing HTFC?

CPFC: There's something romantic about our regular encounters, isn't there? No? Ah.


Kyle Andrews who is the editor of 'Chris Powells Flat Cap' was speaking with Thrice Champions' Greg Marah.

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