Former Charlton Athletic manager Alan Curbishley has suggested that new manager Nigel Adkins is facing a real rebuilding job at the Valley in the summer but also revealed he thinks he is a good fit for the role.
Adkins was appointed swiftly to replace the departing Lee Bowyer and was done so in time for him to take charge of Saturday’s 2-2 draw away at AFC Wimbledon. That result kept the Addicks in the play-off places, but there are a group of teams below them in the table who have games in hand that could see them drop out of the top-six.
The Addicks are facing a potential situation where they need to overhaul their squad in the summer, regardless of whether they earn promotion or not. They have a number of first-team players set to be out of contract who Adkins will need to weigh up and decide whether they are worth keeping. While they also have a group of loanees who will all head back to their parent clubs.
Speaking to London News Online, Curbishley outlined that he believes Adkins will at least have the chance to assess the players he wants to keep who are out of contract in the remaining games. However, he believes it will take a rebuilding job for the club to have the quality and squad depth needed for next term.
He said: “There are lots of players out of contract and lots of players on loan. He can go ‘you know what – I’ll keep him, I’ll do that’. He’s got a little bit of a plus because he has seen them and he’s got time to make those decisions.
“The summer, wherever we are, because of the players out of contract and on loan – it will be a bit of a rebuilding job.”
While on Adkins’ appointment he added that he believes the former Hull City manager is a good fit for the role given his experience.
He said: “On paper it looks really good. He’s come out Nigel and said: ‘We’re in the top six and there is a chance of going up’. Which is great.
“The swiftness of the decision, I think Thomas [Sandgaard] has come out and said that once it was mooted that Lee [Bowyer] was gonna leave they had a couple of people lined up and they got on with it.
“The way it happened last week with Lee was right. There was no aggravation going on – it was amicable, the split. Everyone moves on.
“He’s an intelligent boy. He [Adkins] did his physio degree and progressed from there. What I like about him is I don’t think he looks as if he gets flustered. He’s experienced and not afraid to ask the questions. It ain’t always as a manager about you. You need help and to delegate. He has got the perfect scenario at the moment, coming into a side that is in the top six and a strong squad, for this league. He needs to keep it going. With Johnnie [Jackson] advising him, because he won’t know the players even if he had an inkling about the job. He won’t know them mentally and physically.”
Curbishley knows better than anyone what it takes to enjoy success in charge of Charlton from his lengthy spell in charge of the club. It is encouraging therefore to hear him suggest that Adkins is the right man to lead them forwards and try and get them promoted back into the Championship, either this season or next term if they miss out on the top six.
He is right to suggest that it will take a major rebuilding job in the summer, and Adkins is going to need the backing of the club’s hierarchy in the transfer window to bring in the players he wants. It is also vital that he assesses the out-of-contract players and tries to determine if any of them are worth keeping.
Succeding Bowyer was not going to be an easy task for whoever was chosen, but Adkins at least offers an experienced head and someone that has previous promotion experience. It does seem like a sensible appointment by the Addicks.