1) Our key players have Championship experience
It may seem like we have a relatively young and inexperienced team, and in some ways we do, but there are number of important members of the squad with plenty of games in the second tier of English football under their belt. Michael Morrison and Yann Kermorgant both played for Leicester during their play-off failure in 2009/10, Morrison more successfully than Kermorgant of course, but the general consensus from Leicester fans was that he was starting to get his act together before ‘that’ penalty. Morrison’s first choice partner at the back Leon Cort has represented a number of Championship clubs, as has Danny Haynes, who has almost 200 games at that level to his name. Johnnie Jackson and Bradley Wright-Phillips have also played the majority of their career at second tier level, and along with their fellow experienced team mates, have developed and benefited from their time in League One for a winning side.
2) The kids are alright
The time will come for the likes of Cousins, Poyet and Azeez to make their mark on the Charlton first team, but the current crop of younger players in and around the first team are excellent prospects, and for some it would be an insult just to label them a prospect. This is especially the case for last season’s player of the year Chris Solly. The 21 year old put in a shift last season of someone far older and wiser than the diminutive academy graduate and should have no trouble adapting to the higher quality in the Championship. Ruben Bover and Michael Smith both impressed during pre-season and will be ideal back up and rotation options for the coming season, whilst new signing Jordan Cook has been a personal highlight in the three pre-season games I have seen and I expect him to play a rather large role.
3) Saint Christopher of Powell
The man, the legend, the hero. It’s difficult to feel anything but optimism knowing Chris Powell is managing ‘his club’ and doing an excellent job of it. It was refreshing to see him experiment with a variety of tactics throughout pre-season, most notably a 4-3-3 formation that will offer something completely different when needed for the more difficult challenges ahead. With the boardroom disharmony, resulting in many familiar faces leaving the club, Powell staying put, although possibly never in doubt, is more important that any signing this season.
4) There’s more to come
Powell has admitted he expects at least a few more faces through the door before the end of August, and that’s in addition to trialist Dorian Dervite who remains at the club and is expected to sign in the near future. Once Paul Hayes and Leon Clarke find new clubs, I fully expect Powell to seal some deals. With the likes of Sam Baldock, Stephen Quinn and Ricardo Fuller all mentioned, it would seem whatever decisions Powell makes, quality will be brought in.
5) Charlton Athletic, we’re top of the league!
Yes it was League One, yes it was last season and things are different now, but all the same, last season we won League One with 101 points. We lost 5 games all season. Just 5 games. Confidence in the camp will still be high off the back of that and with previous clubs promoted from League One excelling in the Championship, Charlton should have no trouble staying up, with more expected.