It has been a comparatively poor 12 months for Charlton Athletic, but Lee Bowyer’s side still have a chance to secure a play-off position as the league approaches its concluding stages.
In July, Charlton were relegated back to League One. A run of picking up a mere three points from their last seven Championship games confirmed their relegation after starting the campaign brilliantly.
As the club dropped to the third tier, several first-team players retained their Championship status by securing moves back into the division.
Despite losing a high number of key individuals, Charlton ended the calendar year in the much-desired play-off positions. However, a run of only five wins in 19 games since the turn of the year, has seen the club drop out of the top six.
As the season passes its three-quarter mark, there is still a lot to play for and the Addicks’ play-off ambitions lie solely in their hands. They sit just two points off Ipswich Town in sixth and still have each of the top six to play.
Whilst still possessing a squad capable of third-tier promotion, this crucial part of the season becomes more about the fight than anything. Each of the club’s remaining 11 games will be treated as cup finals and should they secure top-six status come May, Lee Bowyer is a manager who has navigated the club through the League One play-offs as recent as the 2018/19 campaign.
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One aspect that Bowyer will be keen on addressing, is Charlton’s home form.
They have picked up just 20 points from 17 league games at the Valley – a clear cause for concern.
Dissecting their home form further, and they have picked up just a single win against teams in the top half, demonstrating that pandemic football has had a clear impact on the club, who are up there with the division’s best away from home.
In a season where the Addicks have struggled for consistency, they will take encouragement from the fact that they are unbeaten in the last four.
They are not producing the free-flowing attacking football that they started the year playing, but as the campaign nears an end, they find themselves in a position where they will be judged entirely on their results.
Performances will certainly need to improve but Lee Bowyer’s men are still within touching distance of the play-offs and will be looking to capitalise on any little slip-ups from the current top six.