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Powell prepared for Birmingham test
CHRIS Powell admits his side may have to cope with an early onslaught when they travel to Birmingham City on Saturday.
With the Addicks playing their first Championship game for three seasons, new Blues boss Lee Clarke has said he wants his team to attack from the start.
Birmingham are one of the favourites for promotion this season, meaning Powell’s team faces a tough test to start the new campaign.
The Valley manager said: “He’s going to want to attack because they’re at home and want to do well.
“It’s going to be a game that we’ll have to handle and impose ourselves on it.
“If that’s very early on then great, but we might have to weather the storm.
“We’ve got to be ready for that initial start, but the game will settle down.
“I’m expecting Lee to be extremely positive with his team, which he always has been.
“It’s good to see him back as he did so well at Huddersfield, but just didn’t get over the final hurdle.”
Powell added: “It will be a good game.
“It’s going to be competitive, but there’ll also be some good play on show.”
Powell also expects the crowd at St Andrews to be fierce and he wants his players to remain calm throughout.
“The atmosphere will no doubt be 100 per cent full on”, he said.
“I’ve played and watched games there and their fans like to get behind their team.
“They’ll be looking to get a good start at home and it’s up to us to handle that by not freezing and playing our own game.
“We need to keep disciplined and focussed on what we’re trying to do, so we can compete in a really tough game.
“This is why we worked so hard to get out of League One, so we could play in games like this, home and away.”
Having impressed in the midweek penalty defeat to Leyton Orient in the Capital One Cup, there have been calls for new signing Salim Kerkar to feature at the weekend.
Powell admitted Kerkar and fellow new signings Jordan Cook and Lawrie Wilson had impressed against the O’s but refused to be drawn when asked if any of the new signings would start at Birmingham.
He said: “Salim Kerkar did very well on Tuesday, like the other two players that have signed.
“Salim has shown everyone that he is a very positive player in his passing and dribbling.
“Jordan Cook was very prominent and is an exciting young player, while Lawrie Wilson came in and was steady as a rock as a right back.
“Everyone is in contention to be selected.
“It’s important for us to just get some points on the board and make sure that people know we’ll be competitive in this league.
“I’ve an idea of what I want to do and in my mind I want to select a side that I know will do a good job for Charlton Athletic.”
However, the manager refuted the idea people will be able to judge how Charlton will do this season after their opening three matches.
“I don’t think we’ll have that much of an idea of where we’ll be”, he said.
“Last season Reading lost their first four and were champions.
“It’s 46 games.
“I know it’s a cliché, but it really is a marathon and things can change in a week, especially when you have three games.
“That’s nine points to play for, which can really change your position.
“What I like is the fact we’re at home twice, the atmosphere at our place is very good as well.
“Our fans will be excited for both Leicester on Tuesday and Hull on Saturday.”
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