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OPPOSITION FOCUS: CHARLTON ATHLETIC

10 June 2015



With Brighton & Hove Albion’s opponents for the 2015/16 Championship season now confirmed, the club’s media team will take a look at the Seagulls’ 23 opponents for the next campaign.
 
The ninth team to feature in our opposition focus series is Charlton Athletic.

LAST SEASON
 
LEAGUE POSITION:
12th
 
FA CUP: Third round
 
LEAGUE CUP: Second round
 
TOP GOALSCORER: Johann Berg Gudmundsson (11)


2014/15 SEASON REVIEW
 
Charlton Athletic ended their third consecutive season in the Championship with a 12th-place finish, despite an alarming run of form midway through the campaign which saw the Addicks pick up just one win throughout November, December and January.
 
They made a bright start to the campaign though, after remaining unbeaten in their first 11 league games, but boss Bob Peeters was sacked in January following a dramatic slump in form.
 
He departed following the 1-0 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion, with coaches Damian Matthew and former Albion goalkeeper Ben Roberts taking temporary charge of the side.
 
However, the change could not halt a dismal run of results, as three of the next five games ended in defeat - including a 2-1 loss to Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup third round.
 
Israeli coach Guy Luzon was appointed the new permanent boss on 13th January, but work permit issues meant that his first match in charge was 11 days later in the goalless draw at Wolverhampton Wanderers.
 
The 14-match winless run finally came to end with a 3-0 win at home to Brentford and six wins from their next eight games extinguished any lingering fears of relegation, as the Addicks finished in the mid-table comfort zone.

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LAST TIME WE MET:


CHARLTON 0

ALBION 1
Ince ‘62

Rohan Ince’s first league goal for Brighton & Hove Albion secured a 1-0 win over Charlton Athletic at The Valley.
 
It was goalless at the break but the Seagulls almost changed that within three minutes of the restart as Sam Baldock’s excellent first-time ball played in Jake Forster-Caskey, but the young midfielder couldn’t find a way past Addicks keeper Neil Etheridge.

David Stockdale then had to show his quality as he spread himself well to deny Charlton’s new signing Tony Watt, while Joe Bennett couldn’t find a way past Etheridge after meeting Inigo Calderon’s deep cross.
Charlton’s Chris Solly let fly from 20 yards, only for his effort to cannon back off the underside of the bar, and the Seagulls immediately capitalised on their slice of good fortune.

Solly March’s deep free-kick from the right wing found Ince at the back post, and he powered a header into the net to claim all three points.

Charlton line-up: Etheridge; Solly, Ben Haim, Bikey-Amougou, Wiggins; Wilson (Church 66), Cousins, Jackson (Gomez 45), Gudmundsson; Vetokele, Tucudean (Watt 51).
 
Subs not used: Dmitrovic (GK), Onyewu, Fox, Muldoon.
 
Albion line-up: Stockdale; Calderon, Greer, Dunk, Bennett; Ince (Bruno 71), Holla; March, Forster-Caskey (Halford 88), Baldock; Mackail-Smith (O’Grady 71).

Subs not used: Walton (GK), Hughes, Teixeira, Colunga.


THE MANAGER


 
Guy Luzon had a brief professional playing career with Maccabi Petak Tikva, before injury forced him to retire at just 21.
 
He stayed at the club as a youth team coach and took over as manager ahead of the 2001/02 season and led the side to an eighth-place finish.
 
The 39-year-old won the Toto Cup (the Israeli domestic cup) with the side in 2004 and led the club to a second-place finish in the 2004/05 season.
 
His success saw him move on to take the number one job at Hapoel Tel Aviv in 2007, but a poor start to the campaign resulted in a return to Maccabi Petah Tikva. His second period at the club was much shorter and he resigned in April 2008 after just a few months in the job.
 
Luzon then moved on to Bnei Yehuda before he was appointed coach of the Israel under-21 team, which competed at the 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship. Israel were hosts of the tournament and secured a third-place finish in Group A - which included victory over England.
 
Luzon left Israel to take up a role at Belgian club Standard Liege ahead of 2013/14 and led the club to a second-place finish and Champions League qualification in his first season.
 
But following a poor start to 2014/15, Luzon was sacked and took his first job in England with Charlton in January this year.


2015/16 AMBITIONS
 
Despite a largely forgettable 2014/15 campaign, there is a belief that a play-off challenge could be mounted for next season.

A strong set of players are already in the Addicks squad, with the likes of Jordan Cousins, Johnnie Jackson, Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Chris Solly all playing vital roles in the team.

But the likes of Tal Ben Haim will need to be replaced at the heart of the Addicks’ defence, and investment is also needed in the striking department as Charlton managed just 54 goals in 46 games last season.

Igor Vetokele impressed at times, but there is a feeling that reinforcements are required to provide competition for the Belgian and fellow striker Tony Watt.

Strengthening in these areas should result in an improved showing for the south Londoners in the new season and a top-six finish could be possible. 

See Albion v Charlton Athletic at the Amex plus 22 other opponents from as low as £20.22 per game by purchasing a season ticket for 2015/16.

UPCOMING HOME FIXTURES

ALBION V SEVILLA

SUNDAY 2ND AUGUST, KICK-OFF 4PM



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