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Monday, July 24, 2006

Hibernian Preview

Tuesday night sees a trip across the border to play against Hibs in Edinburgh. This will be a much tougher proposition than the game against Millwall and will be for Hibs their last pre-season friendly before they take on Aberdeen in the Scottish League this Saturday. They will obviously field a full-strength side ( no place for kids) in preparation for the league game and after having played 4 Intertoto games are clearly fit and ready.

After hammering Dinaburg of Latvia 8-0 on aggregate in their first Intertoto round they eventually lost to Bruce Riochs' Odense of Denmark at the weekend on the away goals rule, so they'll clearly be wanting to put the disappointment of going out of Europe behind them.

With a game in Spain against Valencia at the weekend it's seems unlikely that a repetition of the Millwall game where 22 players were on display will be tried again. The toughest test of the two games may well be the Hibs game particularly as Valencia are calling Saturday a "Partido de presentaciĆ³n" ( a Presentation Game, eg showing off Del Horno and other new signings to the fans ) rather than a "Amistoso" (friendly). They will probably do as we did against Millwall and give as many players as possible a run-out in front of their fans for the first time this season.

As I can't see 22 Charlton players catching a flight to Spain for one game and Monica's wanting to give people a game it may well be that the stronger Charlton team will be against the Scots with the Spanish game one for the second string and youngsters to enjoy. Whatever happens it's clear that neither Bent will be on the pitch come Tuesday but will we see more of young Franck Dja Djedje ?

More news on the surprise inclusion of European U19 Championship winner Dja Djedje for the Millwall game comes with Dowie giving us some behind-the-scenes thinking: "I thought he did well. He's had a week's training with us and he's coped with it very well. He's showed great hunger and desire - that's the one thing I've been pleased about. He showed one or two little tricks and he was a bit unlucky with his chip in the first few minutes of the second half. He would have liked to have got a goal but we'll keep monitoring him. It's work in progress, we'll take a little time and reflect on it. We won't act in hast. It's just one of those things that we thought he was worth looking at especially when Marcus and Darren were going to miss the game.”

News of Marcus Bent is that he was injured for the Millwall game, while the manager is nursing Darren himself.
Of Darren, who sliced into his finger whilst attempting to make a sandwich, Dowie said: "We don't think it's going to be long, but we'll see how it heals. I would think by the end of the week he'll be starting contact training but we're going to take precautions with it. He's been training with me - non-contact training is fine - and his level of fitness is excellent.”

Before the actual contact training can start, its rumoured that Ainsley Harriet has been asked to provide a few one-to-one sessions, with slicing and chipping techniques the first items on the list.

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