It’s been a tough few years for Charlton Athletic. Their fans have been given few reasons to cheer since Roland Duchatelet took over in 2014.
Problems on and off the pitch have plagued the Belgian businessman’s ownership of the club.
The fans have protested against him but until an acceptable offer comes along, they may be stuck together.
It’s a difficult environment for any team to succeed in. But the Addicks have made a very promising start to the season.
At one stage last term a second successive relegation seemed like a genuine possibility. However, Karl Robinson managed to steer his side to a 16th place finish in the end.
Robinson publicly criticised his players during the relegation scrap. It could have backfired but a few home truths seems to have united the squad.
They’re now playing with much more belief and are fourth in League One after four games.
Charlton were especially impressive in the 4-1 win over Northampton Town.
At 2-1 up with 10 minutes to go, they stood firm against an aerial onslaught. They might have crumbled last year. This time Jake Forster-Caskey scored twice in injury time to seal the victory.
An injection of quality has helped too.
Jay Dasilva has arrived on loan from Chelsea and added a real threat from left-back.
Tariqe Fosu looks like a real talent out wide and Billy Clarke is a smart addition in attack.
Robinson has also cleared out the likes of Roger Johnson and Tony Watt.
The backroom staff was also strengthened during the summer. Lee Bowyer arrived as assistant manager. And Johnnie Jackson moved into a first-team coaching role.
Both of them know what it means to play for Charlton. Having a connection to the club’s past is especially important given their recent history.
Charlton fans will know not to get ahead of themselves just yet. But on the pitch at least, things are looking much better than they have in the last few years.
If they can maintain their consistency promotion could be a genuine possibility.
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