Charlton's morale-boosting victory over Bristol City means that they no longer have the longest winless streak in The Championship. That accolade now belongs to Wigan with twelve games since their last win, followed by Monday's opponents Derby who have gone seven games since they beat Preston 1-0 on 23rd November.
Derby's reliance last season on their loan players has been shown up by their poor performances this year without the services of Mason Mount and Harry Wilson (who scored 27 between them) and Fikayo Tomori. Their replacements (Ben Hamer, Jamie Paterson, Matthew Clarke and Kieron Dowell) are not in the same class and the team that lost to Villa 1-2 at Wembley in May is now languishing in seventeenth place. Krystian Bielik has been underwhelming and they have relied for goals on Martin Waghorn (6) and Tom Lawrence (5). Apart from Wigan (21) they are the lowest scoring club in The Championship with 22.
Rams supporters will be pinning their hopes on Wayne Rooney who has been at the club for some weeks now but is unable to play until January 1st. Without him the team has struggled at home of late - only managing to draw 1-1 with QPR and Sheff Wed and losing 0-1 to Millwall. Overall, their home record is not bad however and their only other defeat was to Bristol City in August. Away from home, however, they have been very poor and their late equaliser at Wigan on Boxing Day was their first goal in seven games on the road while conceding 13.
Whether or not Charlton can complete a first double of the season on Monday night might depend on how many of the exhausted troops can be fit and ready to go again just four days after their exertions of Boxing Day. There will be question marks about whether Gallagher and Morgan will be available after suffering knocks so an "experimental" midfield may be the order of the day. But there is no shortage of defenders and the Bonne / Taylor strike partnership looks as if it is staring to gel so there is no reason for Charlton fans travelling North or settling down in front of the TV on Monday should not do so with some optimism.