Curtis Fleming and Jason Pearce will be in charge of Charlton at Blackpool this Saturday after the sacking of Michael Appleton on Tuesday. It will not be an easy task.
For anyone who missed the appointment of Curtis Fleming as assistant head coach two weeks ago:
And some interesting background about him as a person:
The squad they inherit has not won a league game since November and has gained only four points from the last thirty available. It has not kept a clean sheet for sixteen games and with 44 goals conceded has the second worst record in League One. All this makes it hard to be optimistic about Saturday's encounter.
Blackpool have spent most of the season on the coat tails of the top six without ever quite finding the consistency to make a sustained play-off challenge. The way they let slip a two goal lead at The Valley in October typifies this. Towards the end of November they beat Portsmouth 4-0 at Fratton Park and were only outside the elite on goal difference, but three away defeats in December meant that they started this new year seven points adrift.
However, they have enjoyed a very good January with wins at home against Lincoln and Exeter and away at Bristol Rovers. In addition they played two rousing cup ties against Nottingham Forest - getting a 2-2 draw at The City Ground and coming back to level from 2-0 down in the replay before succumbing to an extra time winner.
One of the stars of their recent games has been Albie Morgan who scored in both cup ties and managed a brace against Exeter to bring his total to six so far in 34 appearances. That contrasts with eight in 146 for Charlton. In addition, Blackpool have Jordan Rhodes with 15 goals so far this season alongside the ever-dangerous CJ Hamilton and Karamoko Dembélé supplying the ammunition.
For those of a certain age an away game at Blackpool always summons up memories of 29th April 1972 when we lost 5-0 up there in the last game of the season and were relegated to the Third Division for the first time in 37 years. Fleming and Pearce are going to have to work miracles this week to raise morale and provide direction if their team is to avoid a similar fate. Although we can't drop into the bottom four this weekend we could find ourselves just one point above it if Reading follow up their win against Derby on Tuesday by beating Leyton Orient at home.
As yet the new signings have not had any significant impact but the change of management should lift some of the gloom around the club and will give those travelling some grounds for hope. However, with fixtures against Derby (twice), Portsmouth and Bolton to come in February points will be hard to come by.
It is by no means out of the question that we could be playing league football against Bromley next season.