Former England striker Darren Bent insists Charlton fans have the power to win back their club.

Supporters of the Championship strugglers have staged multiple protests this season against owner Roland Duchatelet.

The Belgian millionaire has been criticised for his policies regarding player and manager recruitment, as well as numerous PR blunders.

The Addicks are on the verge of relegation to League One with three separate managers only managing to win eight league games between them all season.

Bent, who enjoyed two years at the Valley between 2005 and 2007, admits it is horrible to see the club in its current state.

He said: “It’s horrible, the club seems completely different now.

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“It seems like a completely different place but the fans care enough about the club and they will be the ones who will be able to get it back.

“Hopefully one day they’ll be back, I wish them all the best.”

Bent returned to SE7 at the weekend with Derby but was an unused substitute for Darren Wassall’s victorious side.

The 32-year-old says it was great to be back as he holds strong feelings for the club and the fans.

“It was fantastic, I haven’t been back here for a long time but I always look out for the club’s results,” he told Charlton Live.

“I have fond, fond memories of Charlton – it’s a club dear to my heart.

“It’s disappointing to see how it’s turned out for them but hopefully they will be back.

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“The Charlton fans were fantastic for me, they got right behind me and whenever I play against them I try and give them a clap and show them my appreciation.”

Bent left Charlton for Tottenham in the summer of 2007 and went on to score a total of 106 Premier League goals, as well as representing England on 13 occasions.

But the striker remains grateful for the opportunity the Addicks gave him – and has even opened the door to a return at some stage.

He added: “Alan Curbishley got me out of the Championship and gave me an opportunity in the Premier League, it’s a club dear to my heart.

“I’d love to come back here in some capacity at some stage.

“They’ve got great support and you see how much it means to the supporters, hopefully they bounce back.”

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