While the spirit amongst the players continues to be high, injuries are once again starting to be a bit of a problem with Darren Ambrose, Ben Thatcher, Osei Sankofa, Jimmy-F and Andy Reid out of the Newcastle game and then joined by Alex Song and Marcus Bent who both limped off during the match. At least we had able replacements with ZiZi finally getting a start but we surely need both Song and Reid back for the April games.
Fortunately we are not the only ones to be suffering because all across the country its gloom and doom. Top scorer at Sheff U with 8 goals is Rob Hulse who fractured his left leg against Chelski on March 17th and will not be playing again this season. Like ourselves they have relied on one man to score most of their goals as next up is defender Phil Jagielka with only 3. And at West Ham its also been announced that Dean Ashton will not be playing at all this season. Curbs has called the players ankle injury, sustained by Ashton at the England training ground in August, as "disastrous".
Up north, Manchester City striker Bernardo Corradi continues to be upset and has criticised manager Stuart Pearce and described his first season at Eastlands as "a nightmare". The 30-year-old Italian has not played since the FA Cup quarter-final defeat to Blackburn and is reported to be keen on a return to his homeland just one year into a three-year deal. "The manager is typically English. He expects you to go out and beat the other team without knowing how they play. There's no preparation. It has been a nightmare. Then I woke up on the morning of the FA Cup quarter-final to read that the captain (Richard Dunne) had criticised all the foreign players." Not a happy camp then, roll on Friday week.
Meanwhile the pressure is beginning to show on a couple of managers above us. Sheff U man Neil Warnock attacked his 36-year-old counterpart Gareth Southgate at Middlesbrough for resting Jonathan Woodgate and Mark Viduka for the Premiership clash with Manchester City which City won 1-0. Doesn't like being dragged into a relegation battle apparently, just when he thought he'd done enough.
And not to be outdone Wigan boss Paul Jewell has just won himself a £2,000 fine and a suspended two-game touchline ban from the FA after he admitted to improper conduct. Jewell was punished for confronting referee Phil Dowd after Wigan's defeat at Arsenal on 11 February, and has also been warned about his future conduct. He'll therefore not be seen in the dugout on Saturday. Hope he's got his mobile charged! Sorry, just noticed that the FA in their wisdom decided to make the ban "suspended" so Mr Jewell will be in fact be able to witness his teams thrashing at close quarters down on the touchline. It'll probably be very bad for his health but sorry Paul that's the way it is.
Anyway, all this upsetting news makes the positive mood in the Charlton camp all the more encouraging, doesn't it.