The long road to Plymouth

Maybe, since the football season is dead in the water at this stage for Charlton in all but the most optimistic of eyes, we ought to slip into Charlie Connelly mode and merely describe the place. However, we'll stick to the football, hard as that might be right now.

It's a long way to go to Plymouth Argyle this weekend in the reverse fixture of the August match where we won 5-1 in one of our best performances of the season. Few could have predicted how far apart we would be at this stage of the season. Few also expected Plymouth to sustain a title charge so consistently, even if they have lost their head of steam in recent weeks with last week's visitors to The Valley, Sheffield Wednesday, now in pole position for League One honours.

That said, Plymouth have been knocking on the promotional door these past few seasons and have had a bad habit of falling at the final hurdle with a loss of form in the final stages of the season. After two defeats in their last five games, they may be starting to fear that history is about to repeat itself so they will be keen to regain momentum and gain some measure of revenge on Saturday at Home Park, the most southerly of all England's football league grounds.

At this stage, our fans and our team are going there purely for pride, with eleven places and twenty seven points separating us. Plymouth sit second on 68 points with Ipswich and Bolton breathing down their necks in anticipation of a fall at the final hurdle while we lie bunched up in the beer belly of the division on 41 points just below their derby rivals Exeter.

We can only imagine then that they will see this as the perfect time to get back their mojo as we enter a crucial period of the season when the eventual outcome of the final two automatic places and the four playoff positions starts to take shape. Plymouth have been hotly tipped to finish in the top two driven on by talented manager Steven Schumacher, despite having a team of few stars and a smallish squad.

Writing this, thinking of all we have heard about fresh dawns, prospective brilliance and budget savviness, maybe it is time to just think about the place because we aren't part of the play-off conversation anymore. It might just be time to sit back on the coach, have a few beers and enjoy the trip to England's most southerly ground.

There really isn't that much left in our season but to be a potential hurdle in the way of others as they bid for better days. Who'd have thought that on a fine summer's night half a year ago when we ripped these promotion contenders to shreds?