Resigned to relegation?

The air of despondency around The Valley on Tuesday night was palpable. The performance on the pitch was dire. Confidence was desperately low and enthusiasm in the stands was muted to say the least. The players left the pitch to a resounding chorus of "You're not fit to wear the shirt" and it is very hard to envisage any of them finding it within themselves to offer an improved performance on Saturday.

And this time - instead of mid table Milton Keynes - they will be competing with play-off hopefuls Southend United who, until their last minute defeat by Bolton on Tuesday night, had won four games in succession. Away from home they have recorded wins against Peterborough (4-1), Oxford (2-0), Coventry (2-0) and AFC Wimbledon (2-0) in the last couple of months. They would appear to be yet another small club who understand the value of continuity, organisation and simplicity.

Their manager Phil Brown is the eleventh longest serving manager in the league, having been appointed in March 2013 - a year before Chris Powell was sacked by Charlton. Since then he has brought stability and structure to Southend while Charlton have changed manager eight times. While celebrating four years in charge with victory at Wimbledon last month Brown regretted that so many club chairman were "trigger-happy" which resulted in "good men ending up losing their jobs"

There are eight (yes, only eight) teams below Charlton in the table and seven of them play at home on Saturday. It is likely that a couple of these will win and that two or three pick up a point. This could mean that our club is within three points of the relegation slots by 5pm unless the team can summon up the will (and tactics) to win from somewhere. Karl Robinson's record of 4 wins, 8 draws and 10 defeats in 22 league games means that his points per game record of 0.9 is the second worse in the club's post-war history. Could Karel Fraeye's position soon be threatened?

The only ray of hope might be that Southend remain Charlton's favourite opponents. They are in fact the only club against which the Addicks have won more than 50% of their games. The record stands at: played 41, won 22, drawn 10, lost 9.

I'd happily settle for a scrappy 0-0.