In the recent meeting with City Addicks Karl Robinson made it abundantly clear that his primary objective this season was promotion from League 1, but he did say that he would like the club to reach the third round of the FA Cup because he recognised that an attractive away tie gave supporters the opportunity to congregate and enjoy a day out.
You have to go back six years for the last day like that - to January 2012 when something like 4000 travelled to Craven Cottage for the third round tie with Fulham. The 0-4 scoreline did not reflect the balance of play although it did reflect the relative goal scoring sharpness of Clint Dempsey and Bradley Wright-Phillips.
It was a smaller band of Charlton supporters who gathered at Hillsborough on February 24th 2014 to see goals from Harriott and Church followed by an amazing last minute save from Hamer. These were enough to beat Sheffield Wednesday and secure a quarter final tie with their neighbours United. Chris Powell's cross bar celebration will long be relished. Despite the early Sunday kick off time thousands of Charlton fans did congregate at Bramall Lane on March 9th but they certainly did not enjoy their day out. Chris Powell was sacked a few days later.
There was little excitement when this year's second round draw paired us with AFC Wimbledon at their place and there has been little enthusiasm for making the tortuous journey over to the poorly equipped Cherry Red Records Stadium on Sunday. There will be a hostile reception for Karl Robinson from the home support which will provoke an antagonism between the two sets of supporters which wouldn't otherwise exist. At least this might promote a bit of atmosphere in what could be a dull game in sterile surroundings.
Robinson won't choose to field a weakened squad because his squad is already weakened. Joe Aribo might get a run instead of Ahmed Kashi. Best might well replace Magennis. We hope that Ricky Holmes won't be rested because, on Tuesday evening's evidence, we are a blunt instrument without him. There is some doubt about the availability of Karlan Ahearne-Grant. In an interview after his 94th minute equaliser he informed us that he was "over the moon, literally". We do worry whether he will get back in time for Sunday.
We think one goal will settle it and we hope we will be able to listen to the third round draw with excitement rather than academic interest.