Derby Preview: Takeover talk must not distract from job in hand

Charlton play Derby County this Saturday well in need of some points and home form

After speculation in the media about a takeover seems to have passed, CAFC must in my view press on with the job in hand, and make sure that Charlton are properly resourced to maintain their Championship status. Michael Slater was reported to have said the 5 year plan is still in place last week, if so we eagerly await some signs of that.

Norwich's away kit

Norwich's away kit

Looking forward to Saturdays match against Derby County, Dutch speaking former England Boss Steve Mclaren will have brought a sexy continental influence to the Midlands club. Although their spending has been modest according to with Johnny Russell being the only serious splay of cash - £770k from Dundee, other arrivals have been more modest, they do admit however to struggling with FFP. While the return from Russell has been not bad so far on 5, far better value has come from free signing Chris Martin from Norwich (fresh from touring with his band), on a whopping 13 (10 in the league). The abundance of goals from the around the team see Derby firmly ensconced in the top 4 at the moment, with the second highest goal difference of +14 to Burnleys +17. Martin's hattrick last weekend helped Derby to a 5-1 thrashing of 7th place Blackpool, and although this league can sometimes be topsy-turvey, the stats seem to speak for themselves on this occasion.

Our Chris' men on the other hand are still maybe lacking some cutting edge up front, although the midfield is playing better and is more settled, the team is still not scoring enough goals. If that is allowed to continue a relegation battle may ensue. The reds currently occupy the exact opposite end in 4th from bottom, with a goal difference of -7.

There is still an outstanding contract issue for key players, which arguably has a destabilising effect on morale - with the players concerned and indeed manager all with one eye on the summer exit door. That and any playing squad deficit must surely be resolved if the Addicks are to maintain Championship status.

Saturday's game will see talismanic Captain Jackson watching from the stands til after Boxing day after his red card, it's not all bad though. Loan signing Cameron Stewart has begun some excellent form, but after conceding in equal measure improvements are yet to mean points. Time for Harriot or Green to really step back into the fold perhaps? Fans may hope for Chris Solly's fitness to increase but its doubtful he will be anything more than a bench warmer, similarly with Wood although he is more likely to start; while up front Kermogant and Church need to gel a little more.

Verdict: No early Christmas present for Charlton