Owner predicts 2-1 win

After five defeats in a row and a goal difference of 2-12 Charlton supporters are entitled to be worried that they might be witnessing the club's lowest finish for nearly one hundred years.

We haven't finished lower than 14th in the third tier since 1973/74.  Theo Foley's squad was entertaining and wasn't short of goals - 66 in all with Horsfield (19), Flanagan (11) and Hales (8) plus 6 each from Peacock and Powell. The home record wasn't too bad either with only five defeats, although this did include losing to Walsall and Southport. They also won six away games including at champions Oldham but they took some pastings too. Grimsby (0-5), Wrexham (0-4), Walsall (0-4) were among the choicest. It was typical of that season that they drew 3-3 home and away to Shrewsbury. Nevertheless, the outcome was the club's lowest finish since 1926.

Chris Powell's arrival in 2011 was heralded by four straight wins but the team then lost seven of the next eight - culminating in the ignominious defeat at Dagenham. They were to win only two of the last nineteen games of the season and they finished up in 13th place. This was the squad which included Semedo, Racon, Anyinsah, Benson and Nouble but Powell was fully aware of their limitations and was already making plans for his summer rebuild.

Our current team sits in sixteenth place as it prepares for the visit of old foe Sunderland on Saturday and, until last weekend, it looked as if the fixture would be between the two teams in the worst current form in League One.

Sunderland started 2022 at the top of the league after a 5-0 thumping of Sheffield Wednesday and it looked as if their time had come at last. However January and February saw a run of ten games with only one win (1-0 v Portsmouth). There were home defeats to Lincoln and Doncaster and, after the 0-6 defeat at Bolton, manager Lee Johnson was shown the door. His replacement - Alex Neil - witnessed his team dropping out of the play-off places altogether after home defeat by Milton Keynes in his first game in charge. But  last weekend Sunderland surprised everyone by going to Wigan and beating them 3-0. They are back in the top six; they will be full of confidence and they bring with them League One's top scorer Ross Stewart (22).

Our 1-0 win at The Stadium of Light in November was Johnnie Jackson's first game in charge and the astonishing thing is that his team on Saturday is likely to be almost the same - with only Conor Washington from that starting line-up unlikely to play. These are the same players who went on to win at Burton, thrash Doncaster, hold Rotherham and see off table-topping Plymouth, and they are now supplemented by Scott Fraser. Surely they are good enough to at least avoid defeat on Saturday?

If they aren't good enough they risk being seen as worse than the 1925/26 squad which finished 21st in The Third Division (South) - our lowest ever League position. And that team never lost five in a row, let alone six.

Need a silver lining ?

Well, the seasons after our low finishes in 1973/74 and 2010/11 were promotion seasons.............

At the Q&A with CAST members on Thursday evening Thomas Sandgaard predicted a 2-1 home win. We would be very happy to settle for that!