Monday 31 March 2014

Charlton v McCormack

Ross - the main threat tomorrow night.

Tomorrow night sees the Addicks play another one of the clubs managed by Brian Clough albeit very briefly. If we can come out of these 3 away games with at least 4 points then that'd be great.

Aside from the result Saturday was enjoyable day. Several pints of decent ale before and after the game at the Brunswick went down very well. The service and atmosphere were just as good making it a very pleasant experience.

I was impressed with Pride Park too and the opportunity to get outside into the open air at half time was very welcome too.

As well as Derby played we somewhat shot ourselves in the foot with poor defending especially for the second. That second goal was the killer for us. I felt that we would do well to go in only one down at half time and that would give us some hope for the second half.

It was a spirited and determined effort in the second period and with a bit of luck we could have got a foothold in the game. I felt we had two good shouts for a penalty. One with what looked like a blatant handball and one when Smith was bundled to the floor. Little chance of getting either sadly as the referee seemed determined to give us bu**er all.

We fared little better with one of linos too as a ball that clearly went out of play from a Derby player was totally ignored by him.

Onto tomorrow night then and another tough away game whatever problems Leeds may be experiencing at the moment. Half the battle will stopping McCormack scoring, if we can do that then we give ourselves a chance of getting something. 

Petrucci showed enough on Saturday to suggest that he's worth a start. If Astrit is fit then he equally ought to be on from the beginning. Maybe a 4-2-3-1 formation would be worth a go. If Dervite is fit then perhaps something like this :

                                           Wilson Morrison Dervite Wiggins

                                                        Cousins Jackson

                                                       Petrucci Astrit Harriott


Pigott did enough on Saturday to warrant a place on the bench. I'd still like to see Nego given a go with Wilson in right hand side midfield but that seems unlikely.

Good luck to all those going, I hope your efforts are rewarded with at least a point.

Come On You Reds !

Thursday 27 March 2014

The Silence Of The Rams

Not his finest hour.

I have a soft spot for Derby. I have made many trips to the Baseball Ground and thoroughly enjoyed them. I saw Richard Rufus make his Charlton debut there to make my memories even fonder. It was a proper football ground steeped in history and like the County Ground, inextricably linked with the great Brian Clough.

Current Derby manager, Steve McLaren of course, replaced Brian's son, Nigel. McLaren started the season as No.2 to Redknapp at QPR. Redknapp appears to be floundering without him as he is increasingly exposed like the emperor's new clothes. 

McLaren should never, of course, have been anywhere near the England job just as Curbishley shouldn't have been either. Those two could only have been short-listed for the job if the overriding criteria for the job was an ability to keep a medium sized club in the Premier League.

It wasn't a good experience for England or McLaren as the old duffers at the F.A. made another poor choice even if Scholari had been their main target.

However, it can't be denied that McLaren is a superb coach and not a bad manager. He has gone quietly about his business sans the Dutch accent ! Derby have had a good season going almost unnoticed and they currently lie in 4th place in the Championship.

Sadly for County a distinctly average March following a superb December has prevented County from being well away in third place and ahead of moneybags QPR.

Despite many trips to the old Baseball Ground I've not yet been to Pride Park and I'm looking forward to making the trip on Saturday even if I fully expect us to leave empty handed.

I've kept a close eye on the loan market today as it was the final day for loans for this season. Sadly Eagles didn't come home to roost despite it seemingly being a done deal. That is a real shame as he is just what we need.

However, Davide Petrucci has joined us and I hope that he can offer us something although he has had something of a chequered career. I wish him well and hope that he can supply some ammo for our forwards.

Marcus Tudgay went the other way as he returned to Forest. It's difficult to pass judgement on him as wasn't offered a regular start and went from starting in one game to no place on the bench leading many to believe he headed back north a couple of weeks ago. I'm sure he's a better player than we saw in his short stay.

I hope that Dervite has recovered in time to appear at Pride Park ( ipro ) on Saturday. I thought the side had a better look about it on Tuesday although for me, Obika should be starting. We'll see whether Davide comes into the starting eleven but I suspect it'll be a place on the bench for him.

The unrelenting slog of games continues with each one resembling something of a cup final such is the pressure and need for points. The lads have stood up to it well so far. Long may that continue.

If we do stay up then it'll be a remarkable achievement and to some extent will be about how poor three other teams have been as much as our resilience and ability to dig deep and fight.

Come On You Reds !


Tuesday 25 March 2014

My Perfect Cousins !

My sweet Lord - JC !

Whether you win 1-0 or 5-0 you still get 3 points and where we find ourselves at present a win's a win and very sweet indeed !

We seem to have played Forest at the right time and I understand they weren't any great shakes. However, our boys have dug deep and got reward for their efforts.

I'm pleased for Cousins that he scored. Since his emergence earlier in the season he's been somewhat overshadowed of late by the focus on Diego. He always gives 100% and thoroughly deserves his goal and resulting adulation.

I believe he missed a chance shortly before he scored so well done Jordan. Obika broke into the box on the left and his well struck shot came back off the post and Jordan remained calm as he correctly chose accuracy over power to slot home.

There won't be many teams that have taken 4 points off Forest this season and if there were any justice we would in fact he taken all 6 such was our misfortune in not winning at home.

Forest were reeling from their thumping at Derby on Saturday so our choice of kit for tonight was very apt. Sadly, the reverse may be true when we go to Derby on Saturday. Can we borrow Ipswich's for the weekend.

I'm concerned that Dervite got subbed at half time, I hope that's just a small knock and isn't serious. Wood was an able and as always, reliable deputy I'm informed. 

There were some shock results tonight with Barnsley beating Reading 3-1 away and Yeovil only denied a win with a late goal from Schmeichel of all people ! Millwall lost at home to Birmingham ( shame ! ).

I'm not holding my breath but if we can get one or two decent loans in then things will certainly look up. Here's hoping.

I got my ticket for Derby on Saturday and can now look forward to that a little bit more.

Well done to the lads for another great effort and to you if you made the effort to go.

Come On You Reds !

Monday 24 March 2014

Red Red Robin Hood

Errol Flynn - the best Robin Hood

Saturday is best quickly forgotten. Nothing went right. Kicking towards the North Stand in the first half didn't unsettle Burnley, Church, ironically couldn't score in a month of Sundays, the referee was only going to brandish a yellow card for a double fracture and the east stand lino, Mini-Me might as well have stayed at home. 

Once Church had missed, opting to give the keeper a back pass instead of burying the damn thing you knew it wasn't going to be our day. The ref and lino decided the trip was inside the area when it was dubious at best ( later to be shown it wasn't ) and penalty over.

However, onwards and upwards with the first of three away games tomorrow as the lads visit the City Ground in the city of Nottingham. 

Having managed to have HRH Prince Charles grace with a preview for the Burnley game, we've been fortunate to Robin Hood pen ( well, maybe quill ) a few words ahead of tomorrow's. We are especially grateful as we are aware it's been a taxing time of late for Robin.

Knock knock.
Who's there ?
Robin !
Robin who ? 
Robin the rich, to give to the poor !

Greetings ye fellow fans of the football ! The times they are a changing as both our sides have verily removed their manager. King Billy's crusade came to an end today following his side's failure to hit the target ( unlike me eh readers ! ). Sad to see him go but he'll get a decent pay off as long as it's not a penny more, not a penny less than he deserves.

By the way I heard that Simon Church fired an arrow into the air the other day.......he missed !

We may be getting a new striker. I have been chatting to my Spanish rival, El Bow, and he thinks we may be getting one of his countrymen in on loan. Watch this space....

Thankfully one person who won't be joining Forest of Nottingham is Colin, thank Friar Tuck for that ! We've had a number of managers of late of varying ability but the bottom of the barrel doesn't need to be scraped that deep.

Someone else not appearing tomorrow night Marcus of Tudgay, he being of loan to CAFC. He's not allowed to play so perhaps that avails a chance for the recalled loanee Joe Pigott to have a place in the squad.

Given our recent poor run there have been very few merry men in Nottingham of late. Perhaps that Will Scarlet, I mean, change with the arrival of the Addicks.

I must go now as it's nearly 7pm and my favourite radio show is about to start on Radio 4.  

Thanks to Robin for taking the time to share his thoughts.

We could sure do with a win tomorrow. Anything other than a defeat would be good but that is really dependent on us winning most of our home games and that's something we don't often do or have many of in the next couple of weeks.

Come On You Reds !

Friday 21 March 2014


One is seen here with the Clarets chairman. He kept talking about the FA Cup and laughing, he's a jolly odd fellow !

After a hiatus of a couple of weeks, ANEM is pleased to announce the return of a guest reviewer ahead of this Saturday's clash with Burnley. This week with gone straight to the very top with no lesser peronsage than HRH Prince Charles. Thank you sir.

Gosh ! I bet you're surprised to find that one is a fan of the Clarets..........and one isn't talking about a good bordeaux here ! No, it's Burnley F.C. for me. How did happen I hear you enquire ! 

Well, on a walkabout in 2011 I found myself chatting to some residents of Burnley. On state handouts with no hope of ever getting a proper job, I discovered we had a lot in common.

The Clarets are enjoying a rather splendid season thanks in a large part to Ings and Vokes. I note that it's been a tough one for you Addicks. In part I see that this has been down to problems with the pitch following the poor weather. As mummy said the other day " I wonder if the rain will ever end ? ". I wasn't sure if she was taking the p**s, I've been wondering about that for the last 20 years !

I think Mr Ings will be absent tomorrow but one still expects Burnley to win.

I see you Addicks have some foreign Johnnies as owner and manager ( I'm not talking prophyltics here ). I believe some think they are of evil intent but little has come to fruition so far. Best to see what happens. Personally speaking rumours of abdication have yet to come true....

I trust it's a good game and may the better team win. Sadly one won't be at the game as one is doing some promotion work for Budweiser. I'm not sure of the exact nature of that but it sounds like fun, at least that's what the Burnley chairman told me through fits of laughter.

Thank you sir for taking time out to write for ANEM.

Come On You Reds !

Wednesday 19 March 2014

Dorian Puts Himself In The Picture....

Everyone likes a Double D. He doesn't seem to age at all, does he ?

and the crowd went Wilde ! 

I'll take a late goal to win 1-0 any day of the week and no more so than for the rest of this season. It had the look and feel of yet another nil-nil until our French hero nouveau popped up in time added on. Tres bien monsieur !

In the first half we struggled to get going, rarely creating any clear cut chances. Green might have fluked a goal but his misplaced cross struck the near upright and Obika had a snap shot comfortably held by Camp. Most of the opening period saw Church on his own up front with little chance of any support.

Things changed with the introduction of Obika who proved to be every bit as good as I recalled form last season. Strong and able to hold the ball up and with plenty of pace he allowed us to get a foothold in the game. If he stays injury free he can go a long way to ensuring we stay up.

The introduction of Sordell meant we carried an additional threat. I was surprised that it was Sordell and Obika who played wide as part of the front three. I was further surprised that Church played the full ninety but I guess with relentless slog of fixtures it makes sense to get the most out of the squad.

Poyet was once again immense. My word the boy has some talent not to mention strength and maturity beyond his tender years. It's a crying shame he's not contracted beyond this summer. I also wonder why when we've struggled for so long for most of the season that we didn't see him in the first team earlier although I guess to an extent Cousins would have blocked his path..

Wilson had another solid game at right back although I would like to see him further forward in the absence of a natural winger. Lawrie took a hefty knock in the first half but to his credit he soldiered on. 

I thought the ref last night was awful. I'm convinced he's got a Boscombe beach hut such was his favouring of our visitors. Amongst some of the farcical incidents was him pointing the wrong way when finally giving us a decision. Towards the end of the game I noticed him urging Hamer to hurry up when Ben had the ball in his hands in open play ! Ludicrous !

I'm not sure exactly how games Jackson has played in how many days but fears that his legs are gone are to date proving unfounded. Yes, he's not got pace but he keeps going. Johnnie played a captain's role and he was really geeing the lads up ( each and every one of them ) with about 10 minutes to go. Fantastic !

I was pleased that Yann got a good reception last night, he deserved that. I among others did wonder if he was putting in 100% yesterday, for once I'd like to think not !

Some folk argue that our football hasn't changed much since Chris's departure but to me we appear to possess more urgency with a desire to pass more when we can. For example, I don't recall our centre backs dropping back to receive the ball from Hamer in the past. In fact, Ben's penchant to kick the ball direct to our front line used to vex me considerably.

Hamer is now looks to release the ball a lot quicker. Sordell looks more keen and is getting more opportunity. Substitutions are quicker and tactically better. However, you look at it and big an admirer of Chris you are you have to acknowledge that.

In the lead up to Jackson's free kick I said to my lad that we could do with Yann taking it as I reflected on his goal from the identical position on Boxing Day. In the end skip's effort was pretty damned good and of course. we scored from the resulting corner.

What a splendid header from Dorian. I, like everyone else, went bonkers ! So much so that I almost missed Hamer's celebrations as he run into the crowd just in front of me in the east stand ! 

The celebrations at the end were just as good and the spirit clearly remains good. It was a vital win especially in view of the games that lie ahead. It's a big ask to keep producing that level of effort over the remaining few weeks but we simply have to if we are to survive.

Another addition or two would help in that regard and if they are of the quality of Obika then that'll do me fine.

Monday 17 March 2014

Any Chance Of A Goal ?

Good to see you Mr Obika

You know what it's like you get one nil-nil game and the another comes along soon after. Hopefully for us Addicks it won't be exactly like buses and happen in threes. Maybe there is cause for some optimism that we might actually score following the arrival of Jon Obika on loan.

Obika proved quite a success last season when he was previously on loan. He looked a good player with pace and scored some decent goals. He should prove to be a more than usual acquisition. One would hope that more are to follow. 

Saturday's goalless game at Millwall sounded like a poor game but one has to take the view that at least we didn't lose as so often is the way no matter whether we play them home or away. Denying them the win may prove crucial at the end of the season. It has heaped pressure on them and if we win tomorrow night then the result will look even better.

The continued presence of Hamer in goal suggests that rumours that Roland is picking the team are proving, like many other Roland rumours, to date unfounded. How times change eh ? For some folk Roland has gone from being the messiah to the devil incarnate inside 3 months. 

A number of folk seem to be letting their imaginations run wild. The owner allegedly has all manner of fiendish plans for our club. I prefer to see how things pan out before I start to worry too much.

Of course the main catalyst for all the angst of late was the dismissal of Chris Powell. Some will cite the sale of Stephens and Yann but in reality it is Chris's departure. I love Chris as much as any Charlton fan, I've not met one that has a bad word or anything but the utmost respect for him. However, a sense of perspective is needed and I could only see us getting relegated if he stayed. 

I don't think appointing a manager with no experience of the English league is a good move but to date Riga isn't making a total pig's ear of it so far and I'm happy to proved wrong.

There has been talk of season ticket strikes and other action of an unspecified nature. I can't see that as of yet anything too outrageous has occurred to warrant that. Perhaps if and when it does then one might say that something might need to happen.

In my opinion all concerns can and should be addressed via the Trust as I thought that its raison d'etre is to represent the fans. I believe that it has a meeting scheduled with Katrien within the next few days. 

The formation of a separate group with as yet no specified aims, to me, serves only to dilute any concerted voice ( no pun intended ) for the fans. In addition, it seems to me to undermine the trust itself despite what some of its prominent members may say. It just seems unnecessary..........perhaps I'm being naive.

Onto tomorrow's game and the visit of the Cherries. it won't be an easy game but it will be better if Yann isn't playing. I don't think he'd relish playing against us and neither would we. However, we can fully expect to see at least one ex-Addick return in the shape of Simon Francis. He was not particularly good for us but has it appears improved during his time at Bournemouth. Recent highlights of their games seem to suggest that he's provided something of a goal threat and has been unlucky not to score....what odds on him doing so tomorrow !

I do so hope that Obika starts tomorrow night. Other than that I don't imagine too many other changes unless other new folk arrive. Let's hope we can go get that win as it'd be a great boost especially with the arrival of Burnley on Saturday.

Come On You Reds !


Thursday 13 March 2014

Missing The Point

Michael Buble - a rather splendid entertainer.

I wasn't present at the Valley last night and so missed the first game post Chris and the point that we garnered from it.

You know how it is, you agree to a night out with your partner safe in the knowledge that the Addicks aren't playing.........after checking of course. However, sometimes events conspire against you. You know how it goes, the lads get through to their first FA cup quarter final in years, South Yorkshire Police deem that it should be played on a Sunday because those Charlton fans have a long history of trouble especially in the later stages of the cup and subsequently, that nicely scheduled Tuesday night game gets put back 24 hours........bu**er !

Annoying enough in the normal course of events, given the goings on in the previous 24 hours, really f'ing annoying ! Hey ho !

I've not got a long history of attending gigs. I've seen The Adverts ( supporting Blondie ), Blondie, The Damned, Thin Lizzy, Ali Campbell, The Stranglers, George Benson, Luther Vandross, Alexander O'Neil, Gloria Gaynor, Michael Jackson...........I might have forgotten one or two but a bit of a mixture there.

Until last night I'd not been to see anyone like Mr Buble. I have to say I was very impressed. He is hugely likeable, very engaging and possesses a pretty damned good voice. The show he put on at Birmingham's NIA was I felt, top notch. He is a superb entrainer. If you're of a certain age and perhaps even if you're not, I'd encourage you to see him if you've a chance especially if the Addicks are playing at home...........I've banked a few brownie points !

I liked the sound of the applause for Chris, a nice touch. My lad tells me the atmosphere was very flat to start with but that it improved as we started to play a bit of decent football. It also appears that the fighting spirit is still there. 3 points would have been great but at least we didn't lose and if we won on Saturday then it'd look better. However, we all know what will happen on Saturday don't we children !

I think we all recall all to clearly the reverse fixture from earlier in the season. A pig of a game and one that was lost to an awful deflected goal. That was probably our best chance to get a result from our local rivals who really don't care about us at all. They will no doubt underline that point once again this weekend with the usual near sell out crowd.

No one, our new boss aside, needs telling important and meaningful a win on Saturday would be. It would give the club and all concerned a massive lift ahead of Tuesday's game against Yann's Cherries ! However, I shall be totally flabbergasted if at 5,50pm on Saturday we've done anything other than suffer again at the hands of that lot.

If you're going then you have my respect and best wishes. I hope you witness us secure at least a point. 

Come On You Reds !

Wednesday 12 March 2014

Thanks Chris

It was always a matter of when and not if and today it happened. Clearly Roland and Chris didn't see eye to eye, I don't see how any self-respecting manager could if as we're led to believe the owner is trying to dictate team selection.

The talk of a new contract was clearly nonsense and it was not exactly a secret that Chris was offered something Roland knew he'd never sign. It would seem that Chris won that particular battle as he wouldn't back down and ultimately forced the new owner's hand. I don't blame him.

There are so many reasons for this being the season from hell. It seems likely to end in failure and relegation. I'm not sure that Chris would have kept us up. I'd be amazed if our latest Belgian acquisition does given the lack of exposure to, and presumably knowledge, of the English league.

One has to acknowledge Chris's various shortcomings as a manager and if he had done a number of things differently the team might be in a better position and he might have lasted until the end of the season at least.

I was so pleased when Chris joined as manager because I felt he had the potential to be really good. After a shaky end to his first half season, he went onto gain promotion and in some style. During that marvellous time he wasn't tested too often so good was the team and the squad.

The next season saw us finish 9th after a poor first half season was followed by a fantastic second one.

This season has been tough for a variety of reasons and I'm sure we could all produce a lengthy list of those !

I'm not sure if Chris can go on to be the manager I thought he could. It's possible because he's an intelligent man and clearly possesses some excellent motivational skills as well being a driven and focused individual.

Looking at the picture above and how Chris looks now it's clear managing Charlton has taken its toll. No surprise there I guess. I hope that he is able to get away for a while and have a well earned rest. Following that I hope he returns to football in some capacity as football and society in general desperately needs people like Chris as there are so few around.

No Charlton fan will feed anything other than sadness and sympathy for Chris today as we hold him dear in our hearts. He's given us so many memories to cherish as both player and manager.

Whatever the future holds I'm sure we all wish him the best and I hope we'll see him back at The Valley soon, hopefully pumping his fist in the air after a Charlton home win.

Sunday 9 March 2014

We've Had Better Weekends

Every which way you look at it, it was an awful couple of days. We've sunk to the bottom of the league as all about us won on Saturday and produced an insipid display today.

Thankfully I enjoyed a good night on Saturday. Stopping just outside Sheffield we found a decent little pub serving equally decent ale. At the end of the night a geezer popped out to Domino's and brought us back a pizza and potato wedges for the princely sum of £10. Good Yorkshire hospitality.

We sauntered down to the city in the morning and got breakfast prior to entering the ground. After that it all went rather downhill.

Before and after the game it seemed that the entire South Yorkshire Police force were there to keep us all in order. You could sense a load of aggression and hate bubbling just under the surface eh ? Ridiculous. Clearly they'd made plans for a Sheffield derby and policed today's game in the same manner. Many of the boys in blue coping with the tough gig that is keeping us Addicks in check in lovely sunshine, nice work if you can get it.

I looked forward to the game all week sensing this was our best chance to progress to an FA Cup semi in my lifetime aside from the whole experience. We were so flat and lacking in ideas.

I remain mystified as to why Chris still plays Cousins wide right, we all know he can't play there. Why didn't Astrit start ? Our most creative player. Surely he should have come on at half time at the latest. Tudgay offered little and was largely anonymous.

As I recall the last time Wilson played in midfield he scored two goals, Cousins has played a right back in his " youth ". Equally, Nego could have played at right back.

We had to go for it today but as ever we were too cautious. There were so many bad performances it'd be unfair to single out anyone.

Now we face what seems to me a monumental task to stay in the championship. I can't see where our goals are going to coming from. We must approach all future games in a much more positive manner and the lads are going to have to give their all twice a week in every game.

It doesn't seem as though we're going to be getting any loans in. I gather we've been trying but despite having pretty much agreed terms with some they are opting to go elsewhere.

I know this is all very negative but right now it's hard to be remotely positive about anything concerning CAFC and I've not even mentioned the 2014/15 season ticket farce !

Saturday 8 March 2014

Big Game Ahead !

This just goes to show how versatile an actor Sean is, almost unrecognisable in fact.

It's well known that Sean Bean is a Blades fan. Fair play to him he was spotted at the MK Dons game last week and if he makes the effort to appear there then his credentials are good. I thought wearing the red tunic was a tad OTT though.

I've had a very busy week which has left little time to think too much about tomorrow although like the rest of you it was never too far away from my thoughts.

Make no mistake and this FA Cup quarter final is a massive game. I hope that the financial rewards emanating from a possible win would be used to finance some loans players for the enormous slog of a league programme that lies ahead. Recent events have cast doubt on that. I'm not sure that Roland fully appreciates how difficult it is to escape League One.

If we go down then I can't see him splashing the cash as I think he'll look to use the youth players. All well and good upto a point but the better ones ( Cousins and Poyet immediately spring to mind of course ) probably won't be here and who could blame.

The other aspect of a win tomorrow is that it can breed more confidence. We're going to need every bit of that for the battle ahead of us.

A poor performance and disappointing loss tomorrow will be a right kick in the nads and one which might prove fatal to our Championship status. However, that's for another day.

My main worry for tomorrow is not injuries etc but our kit. To date our cup wins have been achieved when we're wearing our all red kit. I believe it an all black affair at Bramall Lane.

Whatever, let's enjoy the day and pray that the lads can secure a win and let us all have a date at Wembley. If so, please let it be Everton.

I'm stopping just outside Sheffield tonight with fellow ANEM reporter Clive ( the penalty king ) and we'll saunter into the city tomorrow morning.

If you're going have a safe journey. Remember to bring your singing voices to let them know that Charlton are in town.

Wherever you are watching, let's hope it all comes together for us.


Sunday 2 March 2014

Much Ado About Nothing

McLeod - He's still rubbish

Yesterday I had " the pleasure " courtesy of two free tickets to watch next week's cup opponents, Sheffield United, take on the MK Dons. It was far from a good game and matters weren't improved by the Dons having one Izale McLeod in their ranks.

I can confirm he remains as awful as he ever was and never threatened the Blades' goal. His best efforts were as a ballboy when he retrieved the ball in an attempt to speed things up. Did we really pay £1 million for him ? 

It was difficult to say too much about United as the Dons were so poor and carried such little threat. I note that Clough felt this was his side's best performance of the season, they must have had a worse one than even us then if that's the case. 

They eventually ran out 1-0 winners following a first half goal from Scougall. It was a nice run and finish for the goal although in truth the Dons defenders didn't seem to keen to try and stop him.

Ex-Toffee Jose Baxter remains a decent player and had a few good efforts. Jose frequently got annoyed with some of his team-mates who weren't on the same wavelength. 

The Blades lost three players to injuries during the game with two in the first half. Brayford and Murphy who both need scans in the week.

Chris Porter came on to play upfront just before half time with Baxter dropping back to midfield. Porter is the sort of player who would drive you mad. He lacks pace and from what I saw yesterday wasn't too keen on doing a lot of, if any running. He like McLeod carried no threat yesterday.

This was United's seventh win in a row in all competitions and must give them some confidence. However, United are not a big physical team and I saw little to be overly concerned about as long as we play half decent.

Elsewhere the Addicks lost as expected to champions elect, Leicester City. It sounds like a disappointing effort from our boys and that we played without fight and spirit in total contrast to the previous two matches. Thankfully Hamer was given the nod over Thuram and played his part in keeping the score down to 3.

The injury to Morrison is a worry and one hopes that he is fully recovered by next weekend. Hopefully we'll get some players in to boost the squad for the onslaught that lies ahead. I'll not be holding my breath on that one though !

Our boys have the full week to prepare for Sunday's quarter final, the last time this season that we won't be facing at least one midweek game. The Blades are at home to Peterborough on Tuesday in what is an important game for them. I assume Chris will be up there to see that one unless he wants to send me on another scouting mission for him. 

I'm quite excited and looking forward to next Sunday. I'll happily wish the week away. Roll on next Saturday when the pre-match festivities will begin !