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Powell keen for supporters to play role in Eagles game
ADDICKS chief Chris Powell believes Charlton’s fans can have a “huge” impact on tomorrow night’s crunch clash with local rivals Crystal Palace.
Around 22,000 are expected at The Valley for the first encounter between the sides for more than three years.
Last time the duo met in early 2009 a solitary Matt Spring volley was enough to earn the home side the points and in doing so ended a 17 match winless run for the Addicks.
On the Valley faithful, Powell said: “They were terrific against Leicester and Hull.
“Leicester was the first home game of the season and evening games are always special at our place.
“I think there will be a lot of singing and banter between the teams, which you want because that makes the atmosphere.
“But it’s about the football and we want the fans to back us whatever happens, I know from over the years that’s what they’ll do.
“We’ve got to give them something to sing about as well.
“I think it will be a real special night, and of course I want us to come out on top!”
Powell, who last took part in a south London derby when the Addicks won 1-0 at Selhurst Park thanks to a late goal from Svetoslav Todorov in September 2007, said his players are fully aware of the importance of tomorrow night.
And he also insisted they will need no extra motivation going into the game.
He added: “Any local derby the motivation is done in the build-up and lead up to the game.
“I’ve spoken to the players and of course I’ll address the boys before the game, but there’s no real motivation needed.
“I’m sure the players will be talking about the game amongst themselves in the dressing room and we have obviously prepared for the game.
“We have spoken about Palace and various things, but once they get there on Friday night and feel the atmosphere when they warm up, they’ll realise what sort of game this is.”
Despite the additional spice, however, the boss admitted his squad have prepared for the game as they would any other match this season and he doesn’t want his players to be overawed by the occasion.
Powell said: “I know stakes are high because of the bragging rights in the local area and we haven’t played Palace in a few years but it’s one of 46 games and it’s a long season.
“Our season doesn’t count on this game alone but I know exactly how the supporters feel about this game, similarly the Palace fans as well because there has been rivalry over the years “As I said, our season doesn’t hinge on this and neither does Palace’s.
“It’s about winning the game and moving on to the next game, which comes up real soon.
“It will be a great game at The Valley under the lights, it’s a game that I’m sure everyone connected with both teams will be looking forward to.”
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