After winning promotion from Sky Bet League One last season, Charlton Athletic have made an outstanding start to life back in the second tier of English football.
Lee Bowyer’s side were expected by many to be in a battle to survive the drop this season, but their start to the campaign has shown signs of anything other than a relegation dog-fight.
The Addicks currently occupy second spot in the Sky Bet Championship table after winning four of their opening six league games, and are still yet to suffer defeat in the league.
It has been a fantastic opening month of the season for the London club, and the question is now whether they can cement their place in the upper echelons of the table.
Football League World Chief Editor Sam Rourke recently caught up with former Addicks and Scotland striker Chris Iwelumo, who offered his thoughts on Charlton’s season so far.
The 41-year-old paid tribute to the job that Bowyer is doing, but also hailed the impact that assistant manager Johnnie Jackson has made too.
He said: “I’m very close with Johnnie Jackson so I know exactly what’s going on at the club. I think the circus and what happens off the pitch probably helps bring the players and squad more together.
“They’ve got some good players there. Johnnie and Lee Bowyer were thrown in at the deep end, and they have really put their spin on things, and the team ethic that they have got is great. It’s a 24/7 job.
“I think the success has come because he allows the players to go out and express themselves – they both have the respect of the players. Johnnie has been their captain and knows the club inside out, and Lee has come in and he is the main man.
“They both sing off the same hymn sheet, which is important because players don’t receive different information.
“They’ve also got the momentum after winning the play-offs – every player comes in and they are buzzing to play at a higher level, playing against better players, and there is also a real injection of quality in the summer too.”
Charlton host Birmingham City at The Valley this weekend – the Addicks haven’t suffered defeat on their home turf in the league since last October against Coventry City.
They go into the fixture on the back of a 2-0 away win over Reading before the international break, and will be keen to extend their unbeaten league run to seven matches this weekend.