“Seems Crazy” – Charlton Athletic Boss Addresses Relegation Concerns

Charlton Athletic manager Nathan Jones knows that he needs to start picking up wins in order to avoid an unprecedented drop to League Two.

The Addicks have been in freefall in recent months and are just one point above the League One drop zone. However, both Cheltenham Town and Port Vale below them have two games each in hand and the situation at The Valley is becoming increasingly alarming.

It’s been almost three months since supporters have tasted a victory – a run spanning 17 games in all competitions – and time is fast starting to run out for the former Premier League side.

The decision to part company with Michael Appleton was made following a 2-1 defeat against Northampton Town last month, with Jones brought in as his successor almost two weeks later. The ex-Southampton boss has made a decent start, earning draws against Lincoln City and promotion-chasing Bolton Wanderers in his last two outings.

League leaders Portsmouth are up next, followed by second-placed Derby County, in a pair of games which could see Charlton plunge into the bottom four. With only 16 fixtures remaining, Jones was asked if he had set himself a points target required to remain in the division:

“No – we’ve got to start picking up wins,” the 50-year-old told South London News

“We’ve got a tough run of fixtures, for different reasons, and then three away games on the spin – which seems crazy.

“Playing Bolton, Pompey and Derby in a row is tough so we are up against it, from an outside perspective, but they are games where you’ve got to take as many points as we can.

“Portsmouth travel well and they have an excellent fanbase. Similar to Charlton – they’ve had tough times in recent years but the fanbase has always been excellent.”

By the time kick off arrives on Saturday afternoon, Charlton could find themselves in the relegation places. Cheltenham travel to Wigan Athletic tomorrow night knowing a win would see them climb to 19th – their highest league position since August.

Writer’s View

Nathan Jones appears to have brought a little bit of stability to Charlton, although he is still searching for that illusive first win. However, the performance against Bolton at the Toughsheet Community Stadium last week probably deserved more than a point and there will be a hope that they can replicate that performance against Portsmouth this weekend.

The next two fixtures are going to be a tough task, but they are now in a position where they simply cannot afford to lose both. If they can scrape at least a couple of draws, they can put themselves in an excellent position before they face both Cheltenham and Carlisle United early next month.

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