Yesterday television showed pictures of the Oldham Mountain Rescue Team in operation. It's grim 'oop North, but hopefully Charlton will not need rescuing on Saturday.
Oldham are currently 14th in the table. There is a nice symmetry about their home results: won eight; drawn four; lost eight; 23 goals for, 23 against. They are out of the promotion race but are not really threatened by relegation. However, given that they are just seven points clear of Wycombe and not technically safe, they will want to get points on the board. I also suspect that they may be one of the six clubs in League 1 listed but not named by administrators Begbies Traynor as financially challenged.
They have lost their last two matches, but on Sunday were only one place behind Charlton in the form table. Charm merchant manager Paul Dickov will no doubt want to put one over the Addicks. Doubtless the instruction will go out to foul Kermorgant at every opportunity while the referee smiles beningly (indeed, last week's hapless referee was smirking at one point in the game).
A comment on another blog said that we have not been convincing in recent matches. Well, we don't need to be convincing, we just need to grind out results so that we can get out of League 1. This is the third division and we shouldn't expect quality football.
Given the amount of grumbling this season when we have been top of the league since September, goodness knows what the volume will be next year when we could well be in a relegation fight and can perhaps hope to be a mid-table team like Burnley at best.
I do have some concerns about the central midfield. Stephens has never been the same since he came back from his operation and Hollands is inconsistent. However, we don't have that many options. Bradley Pritchard is liked by many fans because he displays enthusiasm, energy and commitment but this is matched by a lack of guile and sophistication. It isn't hard to work out what he is going to do. There might be a case for at least having Hughes on the bench.
On the more positive side I think that Hamer has been looking strong and Cort has been very solid in central defence, while Solly and Wiggins both continue to play well.
It's remarkable to contrast the lack of confidence among Charlton fans with that exuded by the two Sheffield clubs, especially the Massives. However, I think that we can get at least a point out of this match, although we may face another northern referee. Paul May will be providing a match report.