What the Hull?

This weekend marks the first anniversary of that humiliating game when a dispirited and rudderless Charlton were thrashed 5-0 at Watford while their new head coach Guy Luzon queued up for his work permit.

The team marked the occasion by surrendering to another 0-5 defeat at potential relegation rivals Huddersfield on Tuesday night.  The performance was so awful that former interim head coach Karel Fraeye failed to attend the post match press conference -  leaving the duties to his shell-shocked goalkeeper.  Stephen Henderson described the performance as "shocking" and said that the players were "lower than they could ever be in their careers right now".  Captain Johnnie Jackson pledged that the players would refund travelling supporters their expenses as a gesture of apology.

It is no coincidence that both these 0-5 defeats happened at times when the club was mired in complete confusion and demoralisation. If we thought the Luzon work permit fiasco was bad, the events of this week have put that into perspective. Having employed an interim head coach for two months the club decided to sack him and then blithely announced that "a search for a new head coach has commenced". Er, isn't that what should have been happening during the interim period?

Twenty four hours after the search commenced the club appointed Jose Riga, the man who ensured Championsip survival in May 2014 but who wasn't deemed appropriate to continue the following season.

And so we head to Hull City with a team apparently completely bereft of confidence and with rumours of dressing room rifts. We take with us the worst goal difference (-26) in the entire league. The task of providing leadership and organisation falls this weekend to Wim de Corte and Jason Euell and it remains to be seen whether Fraeye's departure will in any way make it easier for these two to provide some urgently needed motivation. We hope the presence of Riga in the background will also have a stabilising effect.

Meanwhile Hull City eased into second place with a competent 2-0 victory over Cardiff on Wednesday evening.  Their leading goalscorer (Abel Hernandez) has scored more goals (11) than Charlton's entire forward line. They can afford to start games with players like Huddlestone, Snodgrass, Aluko and Akpom on the bench. They are among the Championship's leading scorers but Steve Bruce was quoted after the Cardiff game as saying:

"We're not that clinical though. Its our Achilles heel. We can't keep creating five, six or seven opportunities and only take one or two". Strewth! Let's just hope that Achilles is strained on Saturday.

Charlton followed up that 0-5 tonking at Vicarage Road last year with a battling 0-0 draw at Wolves.  Is there any chance of such a performance this time?  All the signs say no. Maybe the best to hope for is the avoidance of humiliation and then a decent display at home to Blackburn next week. Amazingly, despite everything that is going on, the club could be out of the relegation zone with a win and a draw but Jose Riga has a massive job on his hands and he doesn't have four games in hand this time.