Behind Enemy Lines: Charlton Athletic

MILLWALL are back at The Den this weekend to face rivals Charlton in their last match before the November international break.

This will be Gary Rowett’s second home game in charge and he will be looking for a repeat of the performance and result against Stoke City in his first match.

The Addicks are trying to beat Millwall for the first time since March 1996. Current Charlton manager Lee Bowyer scored and was sent off in that game.



Alex Grace spoke to Charlton fan Tony Virgo this week.

Twitter: @tonycafc1985

Why do you support Charlton?



My uncle supported them and I followed on. Now my children are following suit – not that they have a choice.

What has been your favourite season following the Addicks?

Last season was great from a fans perspective but in recent times I would have to say the 2011-12 season.

We had such a strong team and we just looked unstoppable at times. Going back to the “glory days" I would throw in the 2003-04 season when we dropped off from the top four/six in the Premier League after selling Scott Parker.

And the worst?

Far too many to remember them all. I would say 2016-17.

It was just an absolute shambles of a season and we deserved to end up being relegated, mainly due to the problems from above.

Charlton have had a fine start to life back in the Championship – what has been the key to that?

Lee Bowyer. Having a Charlton man in place has been massive and I think both clubs thrive off this set-up.

We also have a great team with good loan players adding something. Playing hard-working players in the right places and having the team spirit is getting us through.

If Bowyer doesn't get a long-term deal then there will be riots! He needs to be given the control to plan long-term.

Whatever we need to do for him should have been done in the summer. That shows what a non-existing owner can (not) do.

Are you concerned that he is only on a contract until the end of the season?

Definitely. As I've said, what he needs he should get. We could establish ourselves in the Championship with him at the helm, maybe even further.

Charlton have failed to beat Millwall in more than 23 years. There have not been too many games between the sides since then but are you confident the run can finally end this weekend?

NO! It's Millwall and no matter how bad they are or how good we look they will turn up.

The Den is an intimidating place to be as an away player and when I have been in the away end you certainly feel that atmosphere.

If I was offered a draw I would happily take it right now.

Charlton are currently 10th in the table – what would be a good season for you?

I will get slated for this, but fourth from bottom.

We need to stay in the league and build from there. Once we get 45 points then we can readjust our aims but staying up is the only important thing.

If you offered me beating Millwall in either game or staying up then I would take staying up every time.

Gary Rowett is Millwall’s new manager after replacing Neil Harris – do you think that’s a good appointment?

Having a few Millwall mates, this has intrigued me for some time.

Honestly, I think Millwall fans need to understand that on such a small budget he [Harris] performed miracles.

The season where you fell short of the play-offs was remarkable. I understand that some fans felt that he was going sideways at times but what a great job Harris did.

I think Rowett is a good appointment, however I am not sure he is the best man for Millwall in the long-term.

If you could sign one Millwall player who would it be and why?

Do I really have to answer this? If I do then I would say Jed Wallace.

Purely because of his form and that he is Millwall's one unpredictable player. He can pull something from nothing more than any other player.

Who will be your key men on Saturday?

Josh Cullen. He is great on the ball and having Darren Pratley next to him allows him to move forward to create chances for others.

Will you be at the game of Saturday?

Unfortunately not. I didn't rack up enough points as I have been to very few away games in the last year.

What is your predicted Charlton starting XI and formation?

Please not 3-5-2.

4-2-3-1: Phillips; Solly, Pearce, Lockyer, Purrington; Pratley, Cullen; Leko. Gallagher, Kayal (I would prefer Oztumer); Bonne.

Finally, a score prediction?

1-1; Wallace and Leko.

Graphic: @jay_taylor18 

Staff

(@NewsAtDen)