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Charlton fans have reasons to be optimistic

It’s fair to say that Charlton fans have had little to cheer about since their slide from the English top flight in 2007.

A succession of impotent managers who carelessly spent their transfer budgets left The Addicks in a state monetary and footballing poverty as they slipped from one league to the next.

There have been brief moments of optimism, but they have proved to be false dawns. Two seasons ago Charlton started the season brightly but lost on penalties to Swindon in the play-offs leaving many fans wondering just when their return to fortune would happen.

However, as a result of their early form this year, a positive aura does seem to be creeping back in to south east London.

The 2009-10 season was a lesson for Charlton; their start to that season was their best in history as they won their first six games on the trot but couldn’t find the consistency to carry them through.

Strong position

Chris Powell’s team are in a strong position this year but he, and the team, must learn from Charlton’s previous errors if they are to succeed where Parkinson did not.

Powell (pictured) is a Charlton legend and is a man who has seen it all before with the club and has already had spells with them as a player, a player-manager and now a manager.

He has built a new team, he has dealt with the loss of promising academy players like Carl Jenkinson and has attracted big names such as Bradley Wright-Phillips.

Players such as Scott Wagstaff have been improving year on year and the acquisition of players like Yann Kermorgant and ex-Gunner Cedric Evina have brought new life to a team the now sits three points clear at the top of the table after twelve games.

Will this be Charlton's year? 

All this begs the question: Will this be Charlton’s year? Victories against Notts County and Sheffield United, as well as decent draws against MK Dons and Sheffield Wednesday have given the players a new-found confidence. 

Next up for Charlton is a trip to Stevenage, who narrowly lost to Huddersfield last weekend, and Powell’s team will be looking to maintain the gap between themselves and the chasing pack.

The season is long and a lot can change between now and May, but with arguably the strongest squad in the league, and a manager respected by players and fans alike, things are finally looking up at The Valley.

By Hamish Mackay

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