Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Title Triumph Means Nothing Now, Powell Warns Charlton

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Title Triumph Means Nothing Now, Powell Warns Charlton

Article excerpt

Byline: Giuseppe Muro

CHRIS POWELL has told his players to forget about last season's title success if they want to avoid relegation from the Championship. Charlton registered 101 points on their way to becoming League One champions last term but they have managed just two wins from nine games on their return to the second tier of English football.

Last night's defeat at home against Watford, a game they dominated for the majority of the second half against 10 men, leaves them just one point above the relegation zone.

Their situation is certainly not terminal but if Charlton's results don't improve then they might be set for an immediate return to League One.

"We can't base our team on last season," said Powell. "We lost just five games last year and this is a different league with a different quality.

"I always knew it was going to be tough because it's an unforgiving league but there is no need to be concerned because we've played just nine games. Things can change very quickly in this league.

"It's going to be a tough old season but I will never criticise my team, we've just got to keep going."

Almen Abdi's spectacular free-kick in the 70th minute inflicted a fourth defeat of the campaign on Charlton after Ricardo Fuller had cancelled out Tommie Hoban's 29th-minute opener.

"Things are not really falling for us at the moment," said Powell. "You have just got to be as calm as you can and go into the next game looking for three points. That is all you can do."

Watford remain a work in progress following 16 summer arrivals at Vicarage Road but there are signs that Gianfranco Zola is slowly stamping his mark on his team.

"We had a good blend of English fighting spirit and a little bit of foreign flair last night," said the Watford manager.

"That is the perfect mix. It was a good performance in terms of resilience and not giving up. As a manager, I cannot ask for anything more than that and I'm very proud of my team. …

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