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Ipswich display shows we've got our Charlton back
11:06am Wednesday 26th September 2012 in Sport
ADDICKS Columnist MATIAS GREZ is all smiles again after Saturday’s 2-1 win at Ipswich lifted his side out of the drop zone.
AFTER the victory over Ipswich at Portman Road on Saturday, Charlton are back.
If the 2-1 win itself was pleasing, the manner in which every player went about their business was more so.
It was not the previous three defeats which were an issue, it was the performances.
Last season Charlton were hard to beat.
Even when they played badly the players were gritty and still ground out results.
Teams knew that to get a result against Charlton they had to play out of their skins.
That Charlton had gone missing in recent weeks and showed no passion and determination in defeat.
However, from the first whistle to the last on Saturday all the players were on it.
They played like the Charlton we were all used to last season, like the champions of League One.
Chris Powell had bemoaned his team’s sluggish starts recently and from the off it was evident this was not going to be an issue this week.
One player who epitomised this new-found hunger was Salim Kerkar.
Every time an Ipswich player was in possession of the ball, he was the Charlton player in closest proximity.
If he found himself in an advanced position and the team lost the ball, he’d make a lung-bursting run to get back and help out in defence for the entire 83 minutes he was on the pitch before being replaced by Bradley Pritchard.
Kerkar lacks the pace that a traditional tricky winger may have but he played with intelligence, retained the ball extremely well and gave the team natural width out on the left.
His inclusion allowed Johnnie Jackson to play in central midfield where he looked 10 times the player he had been playing out on the left.
It allowed him to dictate the match and his lack of pace was no longer blindingly obvious.
The exclusion of Danny Hollands, which may become a regular occurrence if Powell decides to stick with this formation, is perhaps slightly harsh as he’s been one of the most consistent players over the past year.
Hollands often doesn’t get enough praise for the dogged and dirty work he does in midfield, as he maybe doesn’t possess the same technique or have the killer ball in his locker that Dale Stephens does.
However, after Saturday’s performance it seems as though every player is willing to do the hard graft needed to win football matches.
It seems as though just as the Charlton fans’ chant at the end of last season put it so nicely: ‘We’ve got our Charlton back’.
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