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Powell: "I’m putting the pressure on our players."

8 February 2019

Chris Powell returns to The Valley to face Charlton this weekend, a club he played at, managed and is held in high regard.

Powell made 270 appearances in three spells for the Addicks before achieving promotion from League One at the helm of south London club.

But the Blues manager has returned to his old club before, as manager of Huddersfield, and was keen to play down the occasion.

“I’m going back to a place I know really well but the good times I had with Charlton as a player and as manager have gone now,” said Powell.

“It’s about now and the immediate future for Southend United.

“We need to go there and show real courage and quality.

“The last couple of games have been disappointing but we’ve had a really tough week in terms of training and preparation and we need to make that count on Saturday now.

“People want to do well and we know how tough and tight the league is at this present time so we have to get ready for every game that comes our way with 16 to go.

“I’ve been back twice as a manager before, both with Huddersfield.

“The first time was quite an emotional and difficult time if I’m honest because of everything that went on there with myself and the ownership.

“It’s all water under the bridge now but it was a sold out stadium and it didn’t go great.

“But I went back again and all that fanfare was done.

“It was nice to go back and there was a ripple of applause but it was about performing and we did that on the day, getting the three points.

“It’s a difficult place to go, and actually a game against Charlton or a team in the upper reaches of the league, people right you off so in many ways the pressure is off, but I’m putting the pressure on our players.

“I want them to out run the opposition and make our moments tell.

“We’re still in the top half of the table but it’s all very close with a number of points still left to earn.”

Charlton are well placed in the table, in fifth place, but will be missing two key men this weekend.

“They’ve lost (Karlan) Grant to Huddersfield Town who is a very good young player and (Lyle) Taylor is suspended,” Powell added.

“I think they’ve scored 29 of their goals this season but that might give an opportunity for someone else because they certainly have a decent squad.”

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