Charlton have reduced admission prices to £1 for under 18s for the visit of Rotherham on Saturday. This would seem to be a late decision as there was little publicity about it before this week but it seems a sensible decision, given that Rotherham are one of the less attractive teams to be visiting SE7 this season.
Rotherham and Charlton began the season as the bookies' favourites to finish in the relegation positions and, so far, The Millers have looked the part. They began the season with a 1-4 home thrashing by Milton Keynes Dons. They then lost 1-2 at Forest before gaining their only point in a 0-0 home draw with Preston. They came back from 0-3 to 2-3 at QPR but ended up 2-4 losers before allowing Fulham to take all three points in a 1-3 home defeat. This is all particularly disappointing after their spirited end to last season when they lost only one of their last six games, thereby consigning Millwall to relegation.
Manager Steve Evans has rung the changes. He has accepted that he made a mistake in giving the captaincy to new arrival Greg Halford at the start of the season and has now replaced him with Lee Frecklington. In typical bombastic style he announced:
"The weaker managers - and there are lots of them that will never win a promotion or be successful - will make a mistake but be stubborn and never change it."
He has also dispensed with the services of Dutch goalkeeper Kelle Roos who he signed on a season long loan from Derby County. After four games played and ten goals conceded he is now back with his parent club. Lee Camp has arrived from Bournemouth in his place.
Guy Luzon should have an almost fully fit squad from which to select his team this week. Even Frank Moussa managed forty five minutes for the under 21s on Monday, although he will obviously need a little longer before coming into consideration for the first team. Stephen Henderson is still not ready but Simon Makienok returned to training on Thursday. Tony Watt is available and Igor Vetokele should be, despite being ill this week.
This is the first league game this season that Charlton have gone into as favourites and it will be interesting to see how they respond to this different challenge. Last season's encounter was a very disappointing affair but the game will live long in the memory as it saw the introduction to the Charlton supporters of the one and only Monsiuer Le Point. It was his clumsy and unpredictable presence in the penalty area which lead to Jordan Cousins opening the scoring in the 83rd minute. The day ended in gloom however when Ward equalised in injury time.
A game that Charlton really should win and will win, although not at a canter. We hope there will be enough to tempt some of those kids-for-a-quid back again.