Powell satisfied with continued Valley improvement

News Shopper: Chris Powell catches the ball on the touchline in Saturday's 2-2 draw with Brighton. PICTURE BY KEITH GILLARD. Chris Powell catches the ball on the touchline in Saturday's 2-2 draw with Brighton. PICTURE BY KEITH GILLARD.

CHARLTON manager Chris Powell is happy with the improvement in his side’s home form as they went four games unbeaten at The Valley with Saturday’s 2-2 draw against Brighton.

The Addicks had won just one of their opening seven home matches but Powell hopes they have turned a corner with two wins and two draws in their last four SE7 encounters.

He said: “It was very difficult to begin with.

“We had some tough games and tough results which went against us but recently it has got a lot better.

“In the last four games we have won two and drawn two and looking at the two draws maybe they should have been wins.

“You want your fans to come here and see us score goals and win games and we are moving in the right direction on that front.

“Away from home we have been performing very well and if we get the two right and get the balance right between home and away, that will bode well for the rest of the season.”

Saturday’s draw with Brighton also extended Charlton’s unbeaten run to seven matches and Powell believes his team are moving in the right direction.

“We are in a decent place,” he said.

“The boys have got something to hold on to and aim for with regards to the unbeaten run and I keep asking them can they keep the run going and they are doing it.

“I’m a little bit disappointed we couldn’t hold out and get the three points against Brighton but on reflection I would say the draw was the right result.

“It is still very tight.

“A win or two can push you up or a couple of losses can move you quickly down so we have got to keep striving to keep getting the points to move us up.

“We are nearly halfway through the season so we can reflect on what we have done in the first half and then keep moving forward and keep trying to get those points.”

Powell decided to leave centre-back Leon Cort out against Brighton for the return of Michael Morrison, even though Cort has played every game this season and helped keep Millwall out the previous weekend.

But the Charlton boss thinks all three of his central defenders - Cort, Morrison and Dorian Dervite - will benefit from a rest ahead of the busy Christmas period.

He explained: “I always feel I can change one or two things because we have got a good squad.

“We have got good players who want to play and I have always said to them ‘earn your chance in the team’.

“Cort has been superb but sometimes you make that change to freshen the team and sometimes it is just to utilise your squad.

“There are a lot of games coming up over the Christmas period and I suppose it will benefit Cort and Dervite that they can have a rest.”

Powell added: “I brought Danny Haynes back in to give us the extra pace in the side.

“I tinkered with it a little bit but I felt the team and our tactics were right.

“I will look at each and every game and next week I might make seven or eight changes because I want to make sure the XI out there are the right XI to get us points.”

Powell is also hopeful Ricardo Fuller will return from injury for the trip to Bolton.

But the Addicks boss admitted it could be a while before Rhoys Wiggins or Cedric Evina are fit.

Powell added: “Fuller is a quality player who has shown the fans exactly what he can do and it will be great when he is fit and ready.

“But we won’t rush him especially with Christmas coming up because we want to make sure he is right for that period.

“Rhoys had a major injury and we have to take our time with him.

“Cedric is back on the grass and he has done a little bit of training with us.

“Hopefully in another week or two he will be OK.”

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