Now is the time for unity

Last Saturday was not an easy day to be a Charlton supporter.

  • The team's performance was poor.
  • Our rivals picked up points
  • There was moronic abuse of Karlan Grant

It was not a day to feel proud to be a Charlton supporter.

For five years we campaigned against an incompetent owner who had no respect for the supporters or the history of the club. An owner who damaged the vital bond between the club and its supporters and who made us a laughing stock.

The club is now run by people who do appreciate what the club means to supporters and the local community. People who understand the British game and its culture and who have some ambition. All is by no means perfect. There are concerns about the ownership of the stadium freehold. There are worries about available finance.

BUT we are a normal club again. The difficulties we face are the difficulties which the majority of clubs face - managing finances; managing expectations; transfer negotiations; team selection; injuries etc. Our owners will make mistakes and errors of judgment. So will our manager and players.

But, unlike the last five years, we are surely now in this together. There is a unity we haven't seen for years. We need to avoid the indulgence of negativity.

That doesn't mean being uncritical. No one is suggesting blind loyalty. But negative thinking has a habit of creeping into performance and eating away at confidence at all levels of the club. The players we have are the players who will represent  the club over the final ten games of the season and, if we want the team to gain enough points to retain Championship status, we need fully to commit to backing them not only on match days but between match days as well.

So get down to The Valley next Saturday in full voice. Don't groan or barrack if someone makes a mistake. Don't sit there in sullen silence if things aren't going well. Be the twelfth man and woman.