Most of us have felt pretty certain since the failure last month to beat MKD that Charlton have no chance of avoiding relegation. However, the last minute winner on Saturday at least meant that we are not hopelessly adrift yet. Put simply, we need to overtake both MKD and Fulham during the final seven games of the season which, given our horrific goal difference, means making up seven points.
The odds are still against us. Charlton have two tough away games (Ipswich and QPR) this week. Meanwhile MK Dons play at home to Wolves and Rotherham while Fulham travel to Preston on Tuesday and entertain Cardiff next Saturday. The likelihood of the gap to safety being nine points with five to play is very strong.
But our team can of course only concentrate on what they can do and there were certainly signs against Birmingham that they can still gather a few more points in the run-in. It was great to see that Igor Vetokele has at last got his spring back and that his ability to use his body strength to roll an opponent has not disappeared entirely. He was clattered pretty heavily a few times on Saturday but it seemed that he always managed to get up without longer term damage. Alou Diarra also gave an imperious performance and JBG, despite representing Iceland during the week, looked fully committed as well as being a fine striker of a ball. And, of course, Ademola Lookman who was not only quick and incisive but also the taker of the fine corner which Tex headed in. I just loved the composure this eighteen year old showed by taking his time to ensure the delivery was perfect. In addition Yaya Sanogo will be available for selection again.
Ipswich are not in the best of form, having won only one of their last five games and having lost at home to Rotherham last time out at Portman Road. Joint leading scorer Daryl Murphy (10 goals) is doubtful but Brett Pitman (also 10 goals) should be playing. Varney and McGoldrick are adequate substitutes. Charlton fans will not be pleased to hear that Ipswich have signed Liam Feeney on loan for the rest of the season after the fine performance he gave against us for Bolton back in December.
So we put up with Ipswich's outrageous admission prices and we travel in hope. But not too much hope please. Don't forget that our last game of the season is against Burnley while Fulham entertain Bolton and MKDons face Forest.