With no away victory for nearly a year ( Portsmouth 2-1, October 22nd 2005) we now we expect the Addicks to raise from the ashes of bottom place in the table and perform a miracle. Well, it's only Fulham you say. But a Fulham in 12th spot and we haven't won there since 1986, 20 years ago. So not as easy as we might hope but belief is the main thing at the moment. And I suppose that for Monica, whose season starts today, an away draw might be seen as a victory.
I have to say I have no idea what's going to happen. With our opponents in 12th place, there's more at stake for ourselves than there is for Fulham. And perhaps they can afford a defeat, we cannot.
Everyone seems very optimistic about the game with nobody predicting a defeat. But that would be seen as defeatist, I suppose, and as I say belief is the most important thing at the moment. But I remember the same optimistic feeling against Portsmouth a few weeks back. Despite their unbeaten record, how were we going to lose to Pompey? And after an hour we were clearly on top, but we couldn't break them down.
But Fulham are no Portsmouth at the moment. In fact they are a bit topsy-turby. While only scoring twice at home in the league they have managed 6 away! And while they have conceded more goals in the first 20 minutes of Premiership matches this season than any other club they have scored more in the last 10 minutes than any other. So clearly a fit bunch, high on confidence. The Addicks, on the other hand, are clearly better in the first half, for of the 13 goals we have conceded, 10 goals have been conceded in the second half - that's more than any other club.
Fulham have obviously got a few problems at home. After drawing with Bolton with a Bulland penalty in the last minute, they then managed to beat Sheff.Utd 1-0, again with a single Bulland goal. They then managed to lose against Wycombe Wanderers 2-1 in the League Cup ( no advertising here), before losing to Chelski 2-0. So four games in all and only 3 goals scored, and 4 league points, to show for it. And tonight here's no Bulland! But as far as points on the board are concerned, Coleman is probably happy with 4 from the vists of Sheffield Utd, Bolton and Chelski.
Their away form is, however, much better as far as scoring is concerned with late combacks being the style. After a howler of an opening game 1-5 at Old Trafford, they beat Newcastle 2-1 with both goals coming in the last 8 minutes and then managed a 3-3 at Watford after being 2 goals down.
Monica says: "We have had patches showing what we are capable of - and that has not been done enough. Now everyone should be embracing the new ideas and they all know what I am about, what we are trying to achieve. We have had a period where we have had some difficulties, but now we all have to kick on."
Talk The Talk
Our record against Fulham is about equal with a total of: Fulham 18 wins, Charlton 17 wins, Draws 17
At Fulham the record reads: Fulham 12 wins, Charlton 6, Draws 8
Carson, Young, El Karkouri, Diawara ( or Fortune), Hreidarsson, Rommedahl, Reid, Faye, Hughes, Hasselbaink, D. Bent.