Sunday, September 17, 2006

Carlisle preview

I won't be at the match against Carlisle on Tuesday as I will be shut up in a remote schloss in Schleswig-Holstein for five days at a meeting of the EU Rebeca group discussing the regulation of biological control agents. This blog will next be updated on Friday evening with a preview of the game against Villa.

Carlisle manager Neil Mc Donald seems to be very level headed about the tie, although it's odd to see us referred to as having 'stacks of money': 'To be fair, there's no pressure on us. We're coming up to London as underdogs - but it won't just be one big day out. We'll try and cause a shock, but you'd expect Charlton to win nine times out of 10.'

'They've got a great squad full of internationals and talented Premiership players, and stacks more money than us. But let's just hope it's that one time out of 10 when we spring a surprise.'

There seems to be little mention of the tie on Carlisle sites at the moment, but their fans do face a very long journey and their support in and around London is probably limited. Indeed, I can't ever remember meeting someone who supports Carlisle.

Charlton supporters often believe a myth that we do badly against lower division clubs in cups, but in fact our record is perfectly ok. The Carling Cup is probably our best chance of getting near any silverware this season, so let's hope Iain Dowe can reverse our indifferent record in the competition. On the other hand, if we do find ourselves in a relegation battle, would we want a cup run?

When Iain Dowie visited us with Crystal Palace in the Carling Cup, he turned us over with a reserve side and the temptation must be to rest some of our best players for fear of injury and give fringe players a chance. Top players can always be on the bench in the case of difficulty.

Matt Holland picked up a knock on Saturday and is doubtful but this is the sort of contest in which Bryan Hughes does well. Jonathan Fortune was playing with a broken toe against Portsmouth. Shearer's uncharitable remarks about his skills on MOTD have to be seen in the light of their previous history.

I'm going for a 2-1 win for the Addicks against the League 1 side.


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