Charlton Athletic head north to Rochdale this weekend as they look to get back to winning ways.
The Addicks’ last game was one to forget as they eventually got around to hosting Portsmouth after an initial postponement due to a waterlogged pitch.
Indeed, Pompey ran out 3-1 winners and the Addicks’ poor home form continued but that at least isn’t an issue against Dale with it an away game.
What, though, could be a problem for them for this one? We look at a couple of things Lee Bowyer needs to brace himself for at Spotland.
Firstly, he’ll want to see his side start quickly.
The Addicks have bee guilty of sluggish openings to games this year, particularly in recent weeks, and that has led them to often playing catch-up in a match.
The draw against Swindon at The Valley was a good example of that but, perhaps to an even greater extent, the reverse fixture of this afternoon’s clash was an even better one.
Charlton found themselves 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2 down before half-time against Dale not so long ago at The Valley, only to improve greatly in the second-half and draw level, whilst also having chances to go on and win the game.
Lee Bowyer said at the time he was pleased with that second half display and has, in the build-up to this one, urged his side to pick up from that and really get at Rochdale from the off here – time will tell if they do.
His other outstanding issue, meanwhile, could surround selection. Calls for Bowyer to lessen the rotation and play a consistent side are growing thanks to the patchy results that are being recorded and it remains to be seen if he names the same team as he did against Portsmouth, or at least a largely similar one.
Certainly, a couple of changes could well happen, as they so often do after a loss, but it’s the effective musical chairs in midfield that is potentially hampering rhythm. Bowyer has options and is wise to use them to keep his side fresh, but perhaps it’s time to find that strongest four and give them a real run.