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MARTIN TALKS CHARLTON

Posted on 29 September 2005  - 12:00

Martin Jol's mind may be firmly focused on Saturday's first meeting of the season with Charlton at the Valley, but he has not forgotten about last season when the South London side reaped maximum points from both fixtures.

Martin Jol's mind may be firmly focused on Saturday's first meeting of the season with Charlton at the Valley, but he has not forgotten about last season when the South London side reaped maximum points from both fixtures.

Not that the Head Coach was about to start making excuses but, perhaps it should be recalled, there were mitigating circumstances surrounding both games. The first in early November came the day after Jacques Santini's leaving with Martin in caretaker control. We found ourselves 3-0 down but a stirring second half fightback sparked optimism over future prospects and the team were unlucky in the end to come away with a 3-2 defeat.

The reverse fixture at the Valley in mid-March came three days after the shattering FA Cup quarter-final exit to Newcastle and the boys had clearly not shaken off the disappointment as Charlton ran out 2-0 winners.

Maybe this was on Martin's mind when he considered: "I was thinking about the games last season where they took six points off us.

"They are a very good, organised team who play with one up front and two wing players - Dennis Rommedahl, who is doing well, and Jerome Thomas".


You shouldn't forget Danny Murphy, who is playing in the hole, an attacking midfield player who is difficult to pick up and very clever.

He can be anonymous for ten minutes then show his quality and he is very good with set pieces.

"They are a very good team who work hard and that is important. Alan Curbishley is doing a fantastic job - they say in England that Charlton tend to fall away near the end, but they are doing amazingly well so far."

Martin has also been impressed with the impact made by Darren Bent since making the jump from the Championship with Ipswich to Premiership combat with Charlton.

"He is from the Championship and I saw him last year. Some people said to me that he is not a real goalscorer but I saw him in pre-season against Feyenoord when I was having a look at them and he scored two goals.

"He is somebody who can score from the left, right and with headers, so he is pretty versatile and he has been a big plus for Charlton."