CHRIS Powell has denied he is under orders from Charlton’s new owners to play keeper Yohan Thuram-Ulien following Ben Alnwick’s shock exit to Leyton Orient.
Alnwick was sold to the O’s on transfer deadline day, a move which surprised Addicks fans considering his impressive form in the first team recently.
Thuram-Ulien was back in the starting XI 24 hours later for the 2-1 defeat at Wigan and is certain to play against Birmingham this weekend with Ben Hamer still injured.
But the suggestion he had to choose the Standard Liege loanee was emphatically rejected this morning by the Charlton manager.
Powell said: “Yohan doesn’t have to play, let’s put this right.
“He doesn’t have to play and I make decisions that if someone comes in and they prove their worth, they play.
“I know rumours and things like that will always come up, I’m not going to sit here and be naïve.
“Ben Alnwick was playing. Ben was ill at Middlesbrough, Ben Hamer was injured on the Thursday so Yohan had to play or else I was playing Dillon Phillips, and then I put Ben Alnwick straight back in.
“I put him in for the Oxford game, then Huddersfield and Doncaster so Ben was playing.
“That’s how I saw it and then obviously as the window was coming up to a conclusion we obviously knew on the Tuesday before Doncaster that we maybe losing Yann, maybe losing Dale.
“I suppose that didn’t really help us in our quest to play well against Donny.”
The SE7 manager added: “It is a shame really how that has all panned out for all three players but there is not much we can do now.
“We have to move forward, we’ve got to regardless of who is here, who is coming, who is not coming in, who has left, who I’m trying to bring in – we’ve got to now show everyone that whatever players are out there we are going to move forward with them.
“That’s the only way we can be. It’s not easy, it doesn’t look great because I’m sure people are looking in thinking why has this happened, why has that happened?
“It has happened and all we can do now is try to look at the players we have and I’ve got to do my best to get them out there.
“Maybe people are seeing not an ideal situation but what can you do?
“All you can do is prepare, play and get the points.”
Powell was also asked to explain how Alnwick’s surprise switch to League One high-flyers Leyton Orient on deadline day had transpired.
“Ben has been excellent for us,” the manager said.
“He and his advisors wanted to have discussions about a new contract.
“That wasn’t guaranteed for him. I put on record that I wanted to keep him here but of course that would be all three keepers being out of contract at the end of the season.
“I think he wanted assurances and they just weren’t guaranteed.
“His advisor said there was interest and I think Orient, him and his advisor looked at the situation here.
“Obviously they (Orient) are going very well and have got a very good chance of being in the Championship and they looked at the possibility of him going there and maybe extending his deal.
“I don’t know what he got in the end personally but they decided to do it.”
Powell added: “Of course I wasn’t entirely happy with it.
“I could understand, a bit like what Yann and Dale have done, that with six months to go they are wondering what are their futures? What is our future?
“But of course they are looking at it from a personal point of view.
“Sadly Ben moved on and I suppose from the outside looking in the fans have got every right to think that’s a little bit confusing but it is just sadly we haven’t been able to give a guarantee.
“There are still a number of players here where we haven’t been able to guarantee with them and their futures because like me they’ve got five months to go.
“I think Ben looked at it and his advisor and decided to move on.
“Whether they feel once Ben Hamer is fit and Yohan is in that he wouldn’t have a chance but like I’ve always proved with me if you get in and you are doing the business, you will stay in.”
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