Those of us who were at The City Ground on Tuesday night will be approaching The Valley on Saturday with a definite spring in our step. The all round performance (particularly in contrast to that at Stoke) was inspirational and the goal is highly likely to end up as our goal of the season.
So, is there any reason not to feel optimistic about beating Blackburn - an inconsistent mid table side missing their leading goal scorer ?
The game is a Football for a Fiver promotion. Therein lies the possible problem.
Charlton's Football for a Fiver initiative is highly popular among supporters and has gained the club a good deal of kudos over the years. The idea - to subsidise entry shortly before putting season tickets on sale - is smart marketing but, unfortunately, the team has often failed to deliver an appetising experience.
Charlton haven't scored a goal in any of the last four £5 games. Last season saw a 0-0 draw with Blackpool. The previous year there were two £5 games and the team lost them both - 0-1 to Rochdale in October and 0-2 to Shrewsbury in February. Go back to February 2017 and you find Bury turning up for a 0-1 win. These weren't sell-outs by any means but the attendances were about 5000 above average. In total nearly 64,000 witnessed the team failing to deliver. We don't know how many newcomers rushed to buy season tickets, but we suspect it wasn't many.
In February 2016, in front of 21,506, we did manage to score three goals. Unfortunately Reading scored four. At least it was an exciting and memorable game which included a hat trick from Arsenal loanee YaYa Sanogo but criminal defending for Reading's late winner.
So we have to go back five years to find what we hope will be our model for Saturday. Huddersfield were the visitors on February 15th 2015 and Charlton were just emerging into the "Tony Watt Spring" which would see the team score twenty two goals in ten games and climb from twentieth place to eleventh under Guy Luzon. Almost four months without a win had been brought to an end by consecutive 3-0 beatings of Brentford and Wigan and, after the initial anger at the circumstances of Luzon's appointment, there was a certain buzz of optimism around. Almost 11,000 more people came to the game than had come to see Brentford and the team rewarded the 25,545 with another 3-0 win with two goals from Watt and one from Gudmundsson.
A similar crowd will be at The Valley on Saturday and the atmosphere will be equally, if not more, buoyant. Lee Bowyer has an almost fully fit squad from which to select his starting eleven with Williams, Green and Pratley fresh after missing out on Tuesday. Aiden McGeady's short cameo was very promising and David Davis looks to be a solid addition. Naby Sarr will be full of confidence and Jason Pearce will be looking for a repeat of his thunderbolt goal last time we played Blackburn at home.
We predict that the weather will be atrocious but the performance won't be. A confident Charlton team backed by a supportive crowd will be enough to see off Blackburn and gain their first double of the season.