Charlton visit bottom of the table,, Morecambe on Saturday, three days after being soundly beaten by mid-table League Two club, Stockport County. Given the dire level of performance of our team at Edgeley Park, is there any reason to expect a brighter outcome?
Morecambe have had only two wins in their twenty league games this season. At home, they have won only once, scoring seven and conceding fifteen in ten games. They have scored just sixteen goals in all and only managed to score more than once on two occasions. They have been in the bottom four since the season started. And yet, those hardy Charlton souls going up there for the game on Saturday will not be travelling with much optimism.
Partly, this will be because Morecambe have recently begun to show some spirit and resilience, which has meant that they are unbeaten in their last four home games. Since their first home win in seven attempts (beating Barnsley 1-0 on October 22nd) they have managed three commendable 1-1 draws against Derby, Portsmouth and Exeter.
Mainly, however, the pessimism stems from the overarching sense of drift at our club. The lack of judgement, planning and basic competence is there for all to see and the consequent loss of morale and confidence on the pitch was all too evident on Wednesday night. Of more concern was the apparent lack of will to battle it out. Jason Pearce was in the dugout, but there was scant evidence of his combative approach being imitated on the pitch. On that cold night, nobody seemed prepared to roll up their sleeves.
Surely, we will field a stronger starting eleven on Saturday. Presumably Jayden Stockley will return which, despite his weaknesses this season, at least means that Chuks Aneke can be used as a second half substitute rather than as an ineffective starter. George Dobson, Scott Fraser, Steven Sessegnon and Jesurun Rak-Sakyi must surely start. But, it is still hard to feel confident that these changes will be enough to see us prevailing where recently Barnsley, Portsmouth and Derby failed.