POW­ELL SET FOR TILT AT TOP TA­BLE

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE - By Lyall Thomas

CHARLTON man­ager Chris Pow­ell is tar­get­ing a re­turn to the Pre­mier League af­ter fi­nally en­sur­ing safety in the Cham­pi­onship.

Last sea­son’s League One cham­pi­ons went ninth af­ter Tues­day’s 0-0 draw against cham­pi­ons Cardiff and the Ad­dicks boss can now af­ford to look ahead to a bright fu­ture for the club. “It’s been many years since we were last in the top flight,” he told The Foot­ball League Pa­per. “We’ve cer­tainly been hurt the last few years and now we are tak­ing that road to get back there.

Pres­sure

“Whether it takes a year or three, that is our aim and we have to do our best to get this club in the right shape so that when it hap­pens we'll be ready for it.

“This year has been a step for­ward and once the sum­mer comes I'll look to im­prove again – that’s all you can do as a man­ager. It’s vi­tal to re­cruit the right play­ers to push your team on.

Pow­ell added: “Ev­ery­one wants to be at that top ta­ble – we are un­der pres­sure to do it. Some clubs are un­der more pres­sure than oth­ers be­cause of the in­vest­ment that’s been made.We haven’t done that much but we’ve put the club on an even keel.”

Pow­ell has seen no fewer than 12 man­agers sacked in the di­vi­sion since last Au­gust – and it has en­sured the 43-year-old al­ways re­mains alert to com­pla­cency.

“I've done two and a bit years here so I must be do­ing okay,” he added.“But we know the pit­falls; we go into the job with our eyes open.We live and die by re­sults.

“We know the peo­ple up­stairs can get up­set and some­times jump the gun. But you need keep calm and fo­cus on what you’re look­ing to achieve.

“I want to re­main as long as I can in this job be­cause this club suits me and they let me man­age. The sup­port­ers do too.

“I’ve got a good work­ing re­la­tion­ship with our own­ers, but your work­ing re­la­tion­ship with your staff and play­ers is even more im­por­tant. If you want them to play for you, you have to put them in an en­vi­ron­ment in which they can flour­ish.

“You have to talk reg­u­larly (to own­ers) about how you can im­prove. If we can’t, no prob­lem, just tell me and I’ll man­age to the with what I've got.

“But I will never prom­ise fans we’re go­ing to go out and spend mil­lions if we haven’t got it. That's lies – and I’m not here to lie.”

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