When Charlton left Fleetwood with all three points back at the start of October the home side found themselves in 20th place - just above the relegation places. By the end of a disastrous November (one point from five games) they had dropped to 22nd and things looked ominous when December began with a 1-5 defeat at Accrington. Since then, however, they have won four of their six games and they are now out of the bottom four again.
The revival began with home wins against Gillingham (2-1) and Bolton (3-0). They then gained a creditable 0-0 draw at Morecambe before surprisingly losing 0-3 at home to Shrewsbury on Boxing Day. They have only played twice since but have won both games - 0 -1 at Doncaster and, most impressively, 1-0 at home to Rotherham last weekend.
They have not had too much trouble scoring goals. The 38 they have scored so far is better than all apart from the top seven and Ipswich, and is six more than Charlton have managed. However, their defensive record (43 conceded) is one of the worst in League One. They have taken steps in the transfer window to remedy this by signing Toto Nasiala from Ipswich but it was at the other end that he made an impact on his debut. He came on as a second half substitute and provided the assist for Anthony Pilkington's 95th minute winner against Rotherham. Their other main signing has also been a success. Ellis Harrison arrived from Portsmouth and scored the winner against Doncaster in his first game.
Charlton also seem to know a thing or two about making a judicious January signing. Despite another poor team performance at Cheltenham there was at least one silver lining in that Chuks Aneke not only started for us but was still on the pitch ninety five minutes later to score the equaliser. His Championship adventure with Birmingham proved to be short-lived and, although he made eighteen appearances for them, seventeen of these were as a substitute. It will be interesting to see what his role will be once Jayden Stockley is fit again but for the moment we hope that a productive partnership with Conor Washington can be developed.
Johnny Jackson now has a full coaching team alongside him following the recruitment from Yeovil Town of Terry Skiverton.
An experienced pair of eyes might be just what is needed to spot why and where this Charlton team have gone off the boil in recent weeks. Fleetwood will be no pushover but, if we are to avoid our lowest finishing position for forty three years, we will need to pick up wins in games like this.