What a difference a week makes. Charlton's win at Chesterfield last Saturday coupled with results elsewhere mean that there is a good chance of the club finishing in thirteenth place, with an outside possibility of the dizzy heights of twelfth.
With the two clubs above them (Walsall and Milton Keynes) playing each other at The Bescot Stadium, Charlton are guaranteed thirteenth place if they beat Swindon on Sunday. If Walsall v Milton Keynes ends in a draw then victory over already relegated Swindon means we would leapfrog them both into twelfth. Either of these outcomes would mean that the current team avoid the ignominy of the club's lowest league position since 1926. However, losing to Swindon coupled with a win for Wimbledon against Oldham would drop us to fifteenth.
Comparisons have been made with Chris Powell's team of 2010/11 which, after four successive wins on his arrival, won only two more of the final nineteen games (losing eleven times) and finished thirteenth. It is a well known fact that Powell was aware that a complete rebuild of the squad was required. The last game of 2010/11 was a 0-0 Valley draw with Hartlepool, witnessed by 15,804 including a good number of Oompah Loompahs. When Charlton kicked off the 2011/12 season three months later only six of the squad for Hartlepool were in the squad for the 3-0 demolition of Bournemouth. (Can you name them? See below). This complete overhaul was famously to result in an unforgettable season culminating in 101 points and a final day home crowd of nearly 27,000 to see Hartlepool again, a load of Smurfs and that Kermorgant goal.
Powell built the recovery on internal stability and the experience and knowledge of Peter Varney and Phil Chappell plus the immense good will of supporters. Player recruitment was meticulously planned and the squad was largely in place by July. We hope that Karl Robinson will be able to replicate this during the summer but concerns still exist about whether he has the necessary judgement about players and whether the club has the requisite expertise and ambition to support him.
Answer: Elliott, Solly, Wagstaff, Wright-Phillips, Sullivan, Doherty