Remember when Ipswich were our feeder club?

A dozen years ago, no more.

When we happily asset stripped the Suffolk conveyor belt for Darren Bent, Matt Holland, Darren Ambrose and Hermann Hreidarsson to help us sustain our Premier League status.

Both clubs spent time in the top flight in the early years of the century. Ipswich were relegated in 2002 while Charlton enjoyed another five years

Since then, while we have been relegated twice and are now entering our fifth season at level three, Town have enjoyed 15 successive seasons in The Championship. Even more remarkable is the fact that, since their promotion from Division 3 (South) in 1957, they have never played below the second level. That is 60 years in the top two divisions while clubs like Southampton, Sheffield Wednesday, Aston Villa, Fulham, Coventry and Charlton have fallen through the trap door.

Last season's sixteenth place finish was their worst in all those sixty years and there was a certain amount of grumbling among supporters. Do they realise how fortunate they are? In reality they probably do - Ipswich has always been a well-run club proud of its strong bond with supporters. Their annual open day today was attended by 6500 fans who watched the team training and took part in activities. It was noticeable that the day was well advertised on the club's website with a clear and detailed schedule of the timetable of events.

Manager Mick McCarthy, who saw his side battle and scrap for points during a season-long struggle last term – often playing an industrious style – knows how tough the Championship is and admits playing better football does not guarantee positive results.

“It became a means to an end last year, it was about staying up from Christmas onwards,” McCarthy said. “I was never going to say it then, although I did say it privately, I wouldn’t have said it publicly because that’s not going to impress anybody. But that’s what it was about and it was about being hard to beat, pretty much most of the time. That didn’t always happen. We had a lot of draws, of course.  I’d love to play nicer, more attractive football, but I’d always say not at the cost of being at the bottom of the league, of course.”

It was New Year's Day 2014 when Charlton last scored a goal against Ipswich. A heavily deflected last minute equaliser from Jackson at Portman Rd was wildly celebrated by the travelling fans in the outrageously overpriced corner seats. Since then we have seen two 0-3 spankings, a last minute 0-1 home defeat and a plucky away 0-0 in April 2016.  Almost exactly a year ago the teams played out another 0-0 draw at The Valley in the final pre-season friendly. It was the precursor to Charlton's ignominious 0-2 defeat at Bury the following week.

While the result on Saturday is not really important it would not be a surprise if 0-0 was again the outcome as concerns are already growing about where Charlton's goals are going to come from this season.

Those attending are advised to arrive early as there were considerable delays to entering the ground on Tuesday evening for the game with Norwich.