Alan Curbishley on a big summer for Nigel Adkins and his verdict on Charlton appointment

Alan Curbishley reckons that Nigel Adkins will have a major rebuilding job at Charlton Athletic in the summer – no matter what division the club find themselves in.

The Addicks are in the final League One play-off spot after Saturday’s 2-2 draw at AFC Wimbledon.

But teams above and below them have matches in hand which can change the complexion of the standings.

Adkins, who has won four promotions as a manager, was appointed the new Addicks boss on Thursday and last weekend’s fixture at Plough Lane was his first in charge.

Valley Pass pundit Curbishley – asked before Saturday’s match how many victories Charlton would need to get in the play-offs – said: “I think we’ve got to win five or six, at least.

“But we’re playing against Lincoln, Doncaster, Sunderland, Hull – I don’t think we can catch the top two. That’s too big.

“The teams behind us, although they have got the games in hand, have got to win seven or eight. We’ve got the squad basically fit apart from [Ryan] Inniss, so some of these teams that take injuries, especially in the run in, if they are their better players then you can take advantage.”

AFC Wimbledon v Charlton Athletic SkyBet League One, Plough Lane, 20 March 2021

Charlton have a hefty chunk of their squad due to be free agents in the summer along with a raft of loanees – including Liam Millar, Ian Maatsen, Jayden Stockley and Akin Famewo all heading back to their parent clubs.

Former Addicks manager Curbishley, who twice won promotion to the Premier League, said: “There are lots of players out of contract and lots of players on loan. He can go ‘you know what – I’ll keep him, I’ll do that’. He’s got a little bit of a plus because he has seen them and he’s got time to make those decisions.

“The summer, wherever we are, because of the players out of contract and on loan – it will be a bit of a rebuilding job.”

Asked for his take on Adkins landing the Charlton job, Curbishley replied: “I remember the job he did at Southampton, quite vividly. He understands about bringing players through and he is experienced.

“On paper it looks really good. He’s come out Nigel and said: ‘We’re in the top six and there is a chance of going up’. Which is great.

AFC Wimbledon v Charlton Athletic SkyBet League One, Plough Lane, 20 March 2021

“The swiftness of the decision, I think Thomas [Sandgaard] has come out and said that once it was mooted that Lee [Bowyer] was gonna leave they had a couple of people lined up and they got on with it.

“The way it happened last week with Lee was right. There was no aggravation going on – it was amicable, the split. Everyone moves on.

“Lee played for Birmingham and has a chance of staying in the Championship. And we’ve got a chance of joining him, if we can get this momentum going.

“He’s an intelligent boy. He [Adkins] did his physio degree and progressed from there. What I like about him is I don’t think he looks as if he gets flustered. He’s experienced and not afraid to ask the questions. It ain’t always as a manager about you. You need help and to delegate. He has got the perfect scenario at the moment, coming into a side that is in the top six and a strong squad, for this league. He needs to keep it going. With Johnnie [Jackson] advising him, because he won’t know the players even if he had an inkling about the job. He won’t know them mentally and physically.

AFC Wimbledon v Charlton Athletic SkyBet League One, Plough Lane, 20 March 2021

“I was championing Johnnie on Tuesday [to get the role full-time] because he knows the players and he knows the league. The players know him. He picked a team on Tuesday that was a little more attack-minded. I think Nigel is intelligent enough to lean on Johnnie and his vast experience at the club, and why not?”

PHOTOS: KEITH GILLARD

 


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