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Saturday, January 20, 2007

Survival of the Fittest

Its a massive understatement to say that Pardew will be trying very hard this morning to install some confidence and belief in the players available to him for todays game at Portsmouth. According to many journalists his one quality player is at home watching the TV but he's already forgotten about him, for today at least. These are the best 16 he's got fit and he's got to got the most out of them.

They'll all know that its now 25 games since anyones' seen a Charlton away win but he's busy convincing them that todays the day that the misery can end. Make no mistakes, call on Lady Luck and get that f***ing goal Marcus. And its been true that on a number of occasions this season, that after the most disappointing results - drawing with Watford, losing at Bramall Lane, losing at the Riverside, have all been followed by an improved performance. In fact, none of the following games were lost.

So after another very depressing result against Middlesbro, again, he wants to see the usual response. And he especially doesn't want to see any relaxing or holiday sloppyness during the game. While several players were maybe looking forward to a bit of a holiday during the coming days, - they've all been forced to think again now that they have read Pards' latest thoughts on the official website.

Survival of the fittest. That's the new buzzword that manager Alan Pardew is trying out - "I've said to the players that I'm increasing the intensity in training,” Pardew revealed at the club's pre-match press day.

"They are already a very fit bunch, but we need to be fitter than everyone in the Premiership so we're going to be working very hard in the break we have after the Portsmouth game.”

With only one home defeat, todays game at Portsmouth is not the easiest of the 4 forthcoming difficult games with Bolton Wanderers away next, then Chelsea at home and finally a trip to Manchester United following that.

But surprising us all, including the players, Pards' also tells us that "I feel we're going to need to win at least one of this tough run of games we're looking at or pick up three or four points. We start at Portsmouth and we know it's a big ask. We're missing some strong personalities with Andy Reid, Luke Young and Darren Bent out, but hopefully the players will get us the results we need.” Need, of course, being the appropriate word.

And just to emphasize the important factors, this time he doesn't surprise by adding, "Confidence is an issue, but belief is a bigger one."

Quoting Darwin may not be your idea of the best way of installing a bit of belief but for a man at brunt end of a Big Problem he's got to try everything. The approaching record that he's trying not to break is, of course, the 33 winless games that the Addicks "enjoyed" during 1968-1971. And if we don't do something about that pretty soon its a record that's due to be equalled at Anfield on the final day of this season.

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