Sky Sports EFL pundit David Prutton has suggested that Charlton Athletic have made the right decision in appointing Nigel Adkins to replace Lee Bowyer and that the new boss can get them in the mix for promotion this term.
Charlton would not have been expecting to be changing managers at this late stage in the campaign. However, Lee Bowyer’s departure for Birmingham City has presented them with a chance to bring in a fresh face to guide the players through the battle for the top six. Adkins has prior experience of getting out of the division with Southampton which would have been a major part in him getting the job.
Adkins managed to earn a 2-2 draw at AFC Wimbledon in his first game in charge, but Blackpool’s win at home to Peterborough United on Tuesday has seen the Addicks drop back down to seventh place. While there are a lot of sides around them in the table who have games in hand on Charlton meaning they face an uphill battle to make the play-offs.
Speaking on Sky Sports’ latest EFL podcast, Prutton suggested that Adkins was the right appointment for the club to make with his positivity around the place potentially vital in helping them challenge for the top-six. He also backed him to do well in the job given his prior promotion experience.
He said: “Having spent time with Nigel and spoken to players who have worked for him, you realise it’s that kind of outward glow he has that really does motivate and lift a club.
“And he comes into it with a real chance of being in the mix of it at the end of the season. His track record also speaks for itself, and it all looks very positive for Charlton.”
Adkins does seem like a good fit for the job at Charlton, considering there was no need to bring in a manager who would rock the boat and look to get amongst the players to get more from them. That is because they are in the race for the top-six and in that kind of situation you need a more positive figure in charge who can help to instill belief in the squad.
The fact that Adkins has been through a promotion battle in League One and come out of it successfully will also mean he has the experience of handling the pressure of the end-of-season run-in. That is perhaps something that other managers in and around the top-six battle in the division do not have at the moment so it could be an edge.
It is going to be a big ask given the games in hand other have on them, and the form of the likes of Blackpool. However, Adkins can sort of have a pressure-free run at it and see if he can get them into the play-offs. If not then the real pressure will begin next term when he will have the chance to build his squad for next campaign and target a return to the Championship.