Friday, September 19, 2008

Forest preview

During the week, I asked whether Charlton were 'streetwise' enough to pick up three 'ugly' points, especially when undeserved. The performance at Doncaster suggested that they might be after all.

After the game, Pards suggested that, "We made a conscious decision to concede possession to them..." which sounds a lot like management-speak for 'they were better than us', but full credit to the defence for holding out (Mark Hudson increasingly looks an inspired summer signing).

The lack of draws is causing fans emotions to be as volatile as the stock markets, but whether by accident or design, the extra two points on offer for a win justifies a more cavalier approach. We find ourselves just a point behind unbeaten Cardiff for example, and with the top two setting a cracking early pace, any hopes of automatic promotion will surely die if we approach games happy with a point.

We've taken the lead in five of our six matches, a statistic which suggests we are not lacking in confidence. The 'front six' are beginning to look settled which should bode well for continued productivity in the attacking third, and with Zheng and Todorov apparently available shortly, the additional competition for places should be beneficial too.

Pardew's fourth game in charge for Charlton saw a disgraceful FA Cup exit at Forest, so there are some obvious scores to settle now that the two division gap between the sides on that day has (unsurprisingly) closed.

We last won at the City Ground in October 1998, an early Eddie Youds goal securing a vital away win. However both sides would find themselves relegated by the end of that season, Charlton bouncing back immediately whilst Forest began a decade of decline.

Two other visits to the City Ground remain in the memory. In 1999/2000, about 4,000 Addick made the trip wearing yellow in the hope that we'd secure our promotion, but we were forced to wait after a 1-1 draw. And then in 1988/89 after securing Division One status for another year with a 3-0 win Selhurst Park win at home to Derby, there was a similar party atmosphere for a final day 4-0 defeat at Forest with chants of 'we don't care' echoing around the ground.

With confidence presumably high after Tuesday's win just 48 miles up the M1, and with Forest's season having started poorly, this looks on paper at least an outstanding opportunity for the Addicks to tuck into a play-off position with four home games from six on the horizon.

Despite Pardew's suggestion that he may make changes, it's hard to imagine he'll alter a winning side. Thus I expect them to line up as follows: Weaver, Cranie, Youga, Fortune, Hudson, Holland, Bailey, Sam, Bouazza, Varney, Gray. Subs: Elliot, Basey, Moutaouakil, Dickson, Ambrose.

NY Addick predicts: Forest 0, Charlton 1 (Varney). Att: 19, 233.


At 8:48 AM, Blogger Dave Peeps said...

NYA - couldn't agree more re the signing of Hudson. He was brilliant at Doncaster and his influence on the rest of the defence is inceasingly obvious. Paddy McCarthy was proving to be a useful centre-half but he lacks the class to be able to play in the Premier League, something Hudson looks very capable of. It will be interesting to watch their respective performances at Selhurst a week on Tuesday. I suspect Paddy might find himslef a lot busier with Andy Gray than Hudson does.

At 10:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Notts Forest 1 (Earnshaw) - Charlton 3 (Gray hatrick)


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