Friday, January 30, 2009

Turfed Out

A belated preview of tomorrow’s game, mainly due to not being back in the groove after holiday, but also as transfer news was coming in and will help shape the team for tomorrow.

With the news that Tuesday’s long awaited Charlton win came at a cost – Jon Fortune and Andy Gray out for the season, and Mark Hudson and Graeme Murty doubtful for the Burnley – it will be tough to carry on the positive impetus that the three points may have garnered. At least two new recruits have been assembled for battle – Tresor Kandol, a striker on Leeds books who played for Millwall during the first half of the season, and Darren Ward, another ex-Millwall player who will fill an obvious gap at centre half. Both players have joined for the season on loan, which I know this is not some fans signing of choice, but needs must etc…Stuart Fleetwood has also been recalled from his loan spell at Brighton, in an effort to bolster the squad.

The AGM on Wednesday also threw up a couple of other pointers regarding the squad – Nicky Weaver may leave the club this weekend, if he can prove his fitness. It seems that as he is out of contract at the end of the season, the club will blood both Rob Elliott and Darren Randolph and look for them to compete for the starting berth each week from now on (as they have done since Xmas). Darren Ambrose has had a groin injury, but he should be fit for the next run of games, and may get a subs berth tomorrow. Josh Wright is not expected to be given a game ahead of the many other midfield players the club has, and Chris Dickson is likely to be brought on as a sub rather than given a starting slot as he doesn’t always follow tactical instructions.

Burnley have had a good-ish season, especially in the cups, but have lost ground following five straight league defeats. However, their form is not bad, despite the results, and they will be looking to get back to chasing the play-off spot they seek with a win tomorrow. Although the manager – Owen Coyle – threatened to play his youngsters in defence in an effort to cut out the basic mistakes which have led to recent goals, I doubt he will follow through with his threat, and I expect him to play his four fit defenders.

This is the side I expect Phil Parkinson to put out tomorrow –

Rob Elliott
Yassin Moutaouakil
Darren Ward
Matt Holland
Kelly Youga
Tom Soares
Nicky Bailey
Matt Spring
Lloyd Sam
Jonjo Shelvey
Deon Burton

Subs from Randolph, Basey, Mambo, Racon, Ambrose, Todorov, Kandol, Dickson, Fleetwood.

The above is presuming that Parky switches back to a more orthodox 4-5-1 formation, with Shelvey pushed forward, although JonJo may end up on the bench if Ambrose is preferred as a starter?

Pedro45 thinks of himself as a realist, so any premature thoughts of matching the 18-game run without a win with a similar 18-game streak unbeaten have to be dismissed, much as I’d love that to be the case. However, realistic points calculations about what might be sufficient to stay up this season do allow for some defeats (and have to, as Reading and Wolves away are two likely reverses…), and this should not be forgotten. Tuesday win was massive, not only for the fans, but in getting that club record off the monkey’s backs. I would love the team to win points in consecutive matches for only the third time this season, even if we haven’t yet managed consecutive wins, but sadly I fear that a make-shift defence and a Burnley team fresh from a managerial rocket may do for us – I’m predicting a 3-1 defeat.

My one-to-watch tomorrow has to be old hand Matt Holland; playing out of position, as he has had to three times this season, he has had reasonable games each time. If Charlton are to get anything from this match, then Matty will need to have a (very) good game. He has the skills to be a good centre back – good in the air, can pass, runs all day, doesn’t jump into tackles, but then Burnley will know all that and may aim to expose his suspect positioning and failure to tackle.

As long as the team get close to matching the standard that they set on Tuesday, I’ll be happy even if they lose; what we, the fans, and Parky will not accept is heads dropping if we fall behind, and any lack of effort - we need all eleven, whoever they are, so put in undoubted effort all the match. Parky has (slowly) built a team that looks like it will battle for every point; we may not be very good still, but if we get some luck, and Burnley do have an off day, then we could pick up something after all.

Up the Addicks.

Labels: , ,

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Enter your email address below to subscribe to Charlton Athletic Online!

powered by Bloglet
Sports Business Directory - BTS Local
Custom Search