CHRIS Powell is well aware of the threat Birmingham pose when they visit The Valley on Saturday.

After making the play-offs last season, Blues have struggled this campaign and find themselves in the lower reaches of the Championship.

But Powell, whose Charlton side are looking to bounce back from back-to-back defeats, insists the table can often be deceiving and is refusing to take Birmingham lightly.

He said: “Lee Clark has brought in one or two players, but has found it hard financially with all that is going on there but they have got some good players - Curtis Davies, Marlon King is still scoring goals, they have got a bit of knowhow and experience.

“Chris Burke on the wing has been the subject of offers from elsewhere but he has stayed and is performing well.

“They’ve got some good young and senior players.

“They are now running into a bit of form but we have got nothing to be afraid of, we have more than matched teams in this division.

“But I know, and I will make sure my players are aware, they have got individuals who can turn things in an instant.

“We had a good battle up there on the first day of the season.

“Again we felt we should have come away with a win but in the 94th minute they got an equaliser.

“It’s a game that we’ll be ready for and that we’ll be looking overturn what has happened to us in the last two games.”

Powell added: “The league is just a leveller, it soon finds you if you are not ready.

“Also, if you’re a dominant team, as we have found out recently, if you don’t take the chances that come your way the opposition can score out of nothing.

“It could be a set play, it could be an individual piece of skill, that can happen.

“You look at every team, they normally have a player that can do that and that’s why it is such a leveller.

“If you look at the Premier League there are match winners in the upper reaches of the division, but in our league it is such a leveller, it is just ridiculous.

“Obviously financially it is not, the teams that have come down still have their parachute money and there are teams that have big investment.

“But on any given day, we have seen it.

“I wouldn’t say that Cardiff are running away with it but are in a fantastic position and their game against us was just an unbelievable game and that can happen.

“Then they play Peterborough at home and lost, who at the time were rock bottom.

“It’s a league that quickly finds out if you’re not ready for it, for sure.”

The Valley pitch has come in for some criticism recently but it has not been helped by the weather over the Christmas period.

Addicks keeper Ben Hamer was very outspoken with his views on the surface earlier in the week.

Powell, however, was more conservative with his opinion on the playing surface.

He said: “I don’t think a lot of people take into account the constant rain and the snow and it has really taken its toll on the pitch.

“We know it’s not in prime condition but I wouldn’t expect it to be because of what has happened.

“Other clubs have been fortunate with regards to they have been in the Premier League and have spent money on their pitch.

“They have had the right investment on their pitch because it’s not easy, it costs money.

“You can look at one or two teams in our division who are struggling with it but you can also look at one or two teams, Burnley for example, their pitch is superb.

“But they were in the Premier League so they were able to spend three quarters of a million pounds on their pitch. That makes a big difference.

“I know it will come around again, spring isn’t too far away so I’m sure we will get some green on the pitch again.

“But we are just going to have to get on with it, it’s as simple as that.

“We do, the opposition will have to as well.

“I would like it to be in tip-top condition but I suppose we are just going to have to get on with it and then see if we can make any marked improvements next season.”

Follow @NewsShopperSprt for live updates from Charlton v Birmingham on Saturday.