Charlton AthleticSport

Charlton Athletic boss Karl Robinson on growing pressure – and the dragging takeover situation

By Richard Cawley

Charlton head back to The Valley this weekend hoping that for a win over Fleetwood Town that would partially revive their top-six hopes – but boss Karl Robinson reckons it is not just his side which are under major pressure to deliver.

The Addicks are 19th in the form table for the last six matches in League One and have seen their play-off prospects hit by three successive losses, the latest at Blackpool on Tuesday.

Charlton are eighth in the table but could drop out of the top 10 if they do not deliver a victory against the struggling Cod Army this weekend.

“I think it is crunch time for everybody,” said Robinson. “I don’t think at any stage do you think it is not.

“If you are in the play-off places it is just as demanding, this time of the year.

“I don’t know how a lot of these players react under pressure. I know Pearcey, Jacko and Sols have been promoted. Jake Forster-Caskey has been in the play-offs with Brighton. Ben Reeves has been promoted. But then I look around the squad and other lads haven’t had that.

“There are only four or five who are experienced enough to have been in that sort of situation.”

Robinson revealed after defeat at Bloomfield Road that takeover talks could not be resolved until the end of the season – or even later than that.

Asked if it has encroached upon the team trying to achieve their targets, he replied: “It doesn’t have any impact when the whistle goes.

“But I have got players with a year left on their contract, ones who are out of contract, players who might be sold or might not be sold. It’s an uncertain stage of your life. As much as that doesn’t bother you when the whistle goes, it can leave you worrying about next year.

“It’s now got to a stage where something has to be said. Because I can’t just keep saying we’ll be alright, we’ll be alright. This is very difficult for the fans, players and the club’s employees as well.

“The new people will come in and give it fresh air. They’ll change things – they have a right to do that. We have a cleaner wagebill, a cleaner group of players – a better foundation to move forward now.

“This is not about me anymore. This is about being as honest as I can with people. It is a predicament where I have got to say what I think now. We have stabilised it very well for 18 months. CARD have been very respectful in terms of nothing happening with protests, I think they’ve seen they are trying to be kept updated.

“Hopefully there will be resolution. In the meantime we will be fighting like hell to win games, that never changes. What happens on from a a Friday to Saturday night should have no relevance to people playing.”

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