BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Chris Powell has admitted his friendship with Johnnie Jackson will be on hold for 90 minutes on Saturday.
The Southend United manager faces his former club Charlton Athletic at Roots Hall – the first time he has been in the home dugout when he has played against the SE7 outfit.
Powell returned twice to The Valley with Huddersfield Town.
Johnnie Jackson, who wore the armband during Powell’s time in charge at Charlton, is now caretaker assistant manager and retired from playing at the end of last season.
“I try to make it another game although I know in many ways it won’t be because of my playing links and managerial links,” said Powell.
“But it is how I have to treat it.
“It is the first time I’ll be at home to play Charlton but I don’t think it will be any different. I’ll prepare my team alongside my staff and get on with the game.
“People know I always look out for them and see what is going on but there have been so many changes. Maybe not upstairs, but playing-wise and coaching-wise. There is only Johnnie Jackson, Euelly [Jason Euell] and Steve Avory in the academy who were there before.
“Bow is someone I’ve known over the years. We never played together. Even though he is still caretaker manager he’ll want to do as well as he can for as long as he can.”
Jackson played his best football under Powell. He was crucial to their 2012 League One title win and became a fans’ favourite.
“He was one who kind of stood out for me in my early days,” said Powell. “Eventually I made him captain and he was one of the best all-time ones at Charlton alongside many other illustrious names.
“I always saw him going into this [coaching] in some capacity – at first team or academy level. It was a natural progression if he wanted to do it.
“It is through good and bad periods as a manager that help round you. It’s interesting going up against him. We’ve spoken a couple of times and he said he understood some of my decisions now – I think he’s referring to when I dropped him once!
“Players always want to play and I think they think you take a decision lightly at some stage, and you don’t. You think and think about it. At the time it was difficult.
“He is always someone I’ll have time for. I’m sure he won’t have any time for me at 3pm on Saturday. But he is a guy I really hope does particularly well.
“He is someone who should be in the game and has got a good knowledge. He cares about the game and wants to do well. He wants other people to do well. It will be good to see him.”
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