CHARLTON manager Chris Powell admits squad rotation will become more commonplace at The Valley this season.
Last year’s League One title-winning side virtually picked itself but injuries to key players have meant Powell has found it extremely difficult to field the same XI in the Championship.
Last week saw Yann Kermorgant and Rob Hulse paired up front together for the first time from the start in Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Millwall.
Powell believes there are good and valid reasons why that pairing didn’t produce goals on the day, notably Kermorgant’s continued progress back to full fitness.
However, the boss also revealed he will be ruthless when necessary in order to maintain competition in his squad.
He said: “I suppose in our sporadic attacks maybe we didn’t build on them the way we should have done.
“Yann has just come back so he played the game against Peterborough, got his goal and worked ever so hard but he had been out for eight weeks.
“So whether he should have played or not, or whether I should have done something differently (against Millwall), the game has gone now.
“But Rob Hulse has done particularly well for us this year and he has scored a number of goals.
“He kept Danny Shittu on his toes because I’m led to believe Danny has been a real key player for them in their renaissance.
“It is just about me getting the right balance and also I’m not afraid now to make changes and rotate and rest players because it keeps that hunger, it keeps the freshness to the team.”
Powell added: “I haven’t been able to keep a steady and settled team all season so that doesn’t matter now, last year I did in the main but this year I have changed players and put players in different positions and they’ve got on with it.
“I think it is more a case of that now this year that unless you are really happy with the partnership in certain key areas, I don’t see a problem in changing and keeping the freshness and keeping players on their toes because at any time they can play.
“But also sometimes they need that rest to give them that fire again when they get back into the team to do their best to stay in it.”
Michael Morrison missed the Den draw through suspension and with Dorian Dervite impressing against the Lions alongside Leon Cort, Powell pointed out there are no guarantees Morrison would return this weekend at home to Brighton “That’s a decision I have to make,” the gaffer said.
“I want my players to play well every time and they need to perform.
“Whether that keeps them in the team is a decision I have to make.
“I think Dorian Dervite showed the depth of our squad, he showed what he can do.
“He has played defensive sort of shield/midfielder for us in previous games and I felt he was excellent (at Millwall).
“I felt he got better as the game went on because of course you have to get used to it.
“Andy Keogh and Chris Wood are a very dangerous partnership but I felt Dorian and Leon Cort done extremely well.”
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