Carlisle - the home of Ken Dodd
Those Addicks travelling up to Carlisle will, of course, be happy as the team is top of the league. This is increased not only by our current position and the recent history of promotion success associated with Brunton Park but that Carlisle has just been voted the happiest place to live in England.
However, given this week's news of injuries to two of their players allied to a recent dip in form, the natives level of happiness will no doubt have dropped down a notch or two. Sadly for the Blues top scorer Lee Miller ( 14 league goals 2011-12 ) and Chris Chantler have both been ruled out for the season. As a result some United fans have written off the club's play-off chances. I'm sure the rest of the squad and manager, Greg Abbott won't have done.
Carlisle is the birthplace of the custard cream but it's a ginger nut in the form of Jordan Cook who'll pose the biggest threat on Saturday. Cook is on loan from Sunderland and has been their most impressive player in recent weeks.
I fully expect Carlisle to be up for it as one can't imagine they'll give up now having come so close. Not only that the other clubs around them still face some tough fixtures.
They have some experienced players on their books in the shape of Tony Caig ( remember him ), Graham Kavanagh and JP McGovern. Mind you they are mostly used in a coaching capacity these days but Kavanagh or JP may be called into service at some stage.
We have of course beaten United twice this season with a comfortable 4-0 in the league and an equally untroubled 2-0 win in the FA Cup with a weakened side that saw Jason Euell score probably his last ever goal for us. The league fixture saw goalkeeper Collin gift us the fourth goal.......a repeat of that at the weekend would be most welcome.
That counts for nothing on Saturday of course and we'll need to be at our best to overcome a decent side for whom Abbott has worked wonders in my view. A win would be great of course especially given how nervy our boys have been at home of late but a draw would be fine by me.
As ever one can't see Sir Chris making many changes. He may opt to bring back Wagstaff for N'Guessan and leave the rest of the side as it was against Walsall. I'd bring back Green if fit and have N'Guessan start ahead of BWP. In addition, I'd have Cook on the left with Hughes replacing Stephens to partner Jackson in midfield.
Please, please, please can we have a decent ref ? God knows we're long overdue one. There must be one somewhere. What ever happened to Jurnal Singh ? He was one of my favourites as we always seemed to do well when he officiated our games.
Good luck to all those Addicks making the very long trip up there. Let's hope the lads get the three points, play well and send you all home.............happy !
Come On You Reds !