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Posted on 3 February 2006  - 12:00

Chris Hughton offers his regular assessment of forthcoming opponents with Charlton next at the Lane on Sunday...

Chris Hughton offers his regular assessment of forthcoming opponents with Charlton next at the Lane on Sunday...

OUR RECORD AGAINST Charlton is very strange with us tending to do so well at their place and them at ours. It would be nice to reverse that on this occasion.

They are a good side, especially with the addition of Marcus Bent up front - one we have always regarded as a good player. He has always made his mark wherever he has gone and he - along with Darren Bent - will be quite a lethal pair in attack.

If I look at times before when we have lost games on not done well, I would not put our current run in that category. The Villa performance was a good footballing one and we got the feeling that if we got the one goal we would have gone on to score two or three. The Fulham result was a disappointing one as they weren't a better team than us on the night.

Certainly with regards to chances, we felt it was a very even game. We need to be more decisive and make our good periods count. We shouldn't get into a position like at Fulham, in a game where we have good possession we must take the initiative and score goals.

Once you get the one you know the game will open up, then there is the possibility of a second or remaining tight.

Charlton have chopped and changed in terms of formation, starting off the season in a 4-3-3 or 4-5-1 shape and did it very well - probably as good as anybody has done.

They have mixed it up a little bit of late but have mostly gone for a 4-4-2 and, with the arrival of the other Bent, the two of them will play up front.

Luke Young at right-back has been doing very, very well this season and has got himself into a position for England selection. Chris Powell at left-back seems to have been around forever, but he is still playing and is a quality player - while at centre half we would expect to see Jon Fortune and Hermann Hreidarsson, the latter who we know better from his exploits against us.

They have options across the middle of the park and in recent games they have played Matt Holland with either Radostin Kishishev or Alexei Smertin. The wide players will possibly be Bryan Hughes and Darren Ambrose, with the other choice being Jerome Thomas who did very well at the start of the season. We remember well the goal he scored against us at their place last season.

I would expect Charlton to want to keep it tight but, what they have, is the benefit of two players up front who have both got pace - Darren Bent in particular. That is the danger for us.