McGreal in provisional charge for the first time as Blues travel to Charlton E! News UK


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McGreal in provisional charge for the first time as Blues travel to Charlton
Monday, December 6, 2021 7:46 PM

The city visited Charlton Athletic on Tuesday with interim manager John McGreal in charge for the first time.

The former midfielder, a member of George Burley’s squad who won promotion to the Premier League at Wembley in 2000 and finished fifth in the top flight the following season to reach the UEFA Cup, has been appointed to lead des Bleus this morning following Paul. Cook sacked on Saturday.

McGreal first worked with the team today and says he hasn’t tried to change too much in a short time.

He says given recent events and results, and with a sold-out after traveling from Suffolk, players could feel some tension in the game.

“It’s going to be a huge audience, they can feel a little bit pressured, but they have to let go of the chains and go play,” McGreal said. iFollow Ipswich.

“I haven’t reinvented the wheel or anything today. I probably haven’t done anything too different from what I’ve done in the past with my experience.

“All I’ve tried to do is run sessions today, make them run, make them smile, try to break the chains a bit and [told them to] go enjoy the game and get started.

“It’s the least our fans will ask for. Even when I was a player here, my own blunder, George [Burley], that was the least he expected, you have to work hard for the badge and that’s all we ask.

Considering how little time McGreal has spent working with the players, the Liverpudlian is unlikely to make too many changes on the side facing the Addicks.

Christian Walton will be in goal with Janoi Donacien likely to continue right-back ahead of Kane Vincent-Young, who played for McGreal at Colchester.

Bailey Clements is likely to be on the left as the Blues could once again be without George Edmundson at the heart of the defense as the former Rangers man suffered an Achilles tendon injury in training ahead of Barrow’s game .

It is likely that Toto Nsiala is associated with Cameron Burgess, as was the case against the Bluebirds.

In midfield, McGreal will likely continue with Cook’s system with skipper Sam Morsy joined by Lee Evans or Tom Carroll.

Sone Aluko will likely be on the right, assuming Wes Burns has yet to recover from his hamstring injury, with Conor Chaplin likely in the middle, with Bersant Celina also struggling late last week.

Scott Fraser may well return to the left with Macauley Bonne, who was a young Colchester player during McGreal’s time at JobServe Community Stadium, the lone striker.

Young midfielder Cameron Humphreys could be part of the traveling squad after being ruled out of the U23s on Monday afternoon, having impacted the bench against Barrow and nearly managed a late winner.



Charlton’s acting manager Johnnie Jackson, who took office at the end of October after Nigel Adkins was sacked, admits Cook’s sacking in Town has had an impact on his preparations.

“It’s a bit complicated for us on the preparation side,” he told the South London Press.

“Are we preparing for Cooky’s Ipswich or are we cooking something new?” You won’t know what they’re going to do. It makes things a little more difficult.

“But we know their players and their threats. We will do our homework, as we always do. We have to focus on ourselves.

Regarding Cook’s exit, Jackson, who has won seven, draws two and lost two of his 11 games, added, “I don’t like to see that. Obviously, as a young manager you want people to have time. Getting your ideas across can take time.

“I was surprised. I know they would expect to be higher in the league, but they are not at the bottom of the league. Cooky is a good manager and coach.

“I would have expected him to be given a little more time and he probably would have looked off because they have good players.

“I was expecting him to end up getting them started and starting to move towards the top of the league.

“They have one of the biggest budgets in the league and I guess that’s one of the reasons he left. But it’s still disappointing to see. You want managers to have the opportunity to reverse the steam.

Charlton expects skipper Jason Pearce to return after a knee injury, but winger Corey Blackett-Taylor remains on the sidelines with hamstring strain.

Right-back Adam Matthews isn’t quite ready to return from a calf problem just yet, while Ryan Inniss, Sam Lavelle and Jake Forster-Caskey are also out.

Town just has the edge historically having won 23 games (19 in the league), Charlton 19 (16) and with 12 (11) ending in draws.

The Blues have been five years undefeated at the Valley – aside from a 6-1 preseason loss in July 2017 – having won four trotting ahead of last season’s game.

Charlton, who is 15th, four points and four places behind the Blues, has a Ligue 1 home record of three wins, three draws and four losses.

They have won their last three home games in all competitions, one in the League, one in the FA Cup and one in the Papa John Trophy.

In April, Town drew 0-0 with Charlton in the Valley to extend their 0-0 streak to 439 minutes.

The Blues were the better team in the first half with James Norwood and Keanan Bennetts both close at first, while the Addicks were in the lead in the second as the teams played Town’s fourth 0-0 draw in six games.

In November at Portman Road, a two-half goal from Albie Morgan and Omar Bogle gave Charlton a comfortable 2-0 victory over Town.

Morgan put his team ahead with a low shot on 21 in a balanced first half, while sub Bogle scored with his first touch in the 68th minute to seal all three runs for the visitors, the Blues never seemed to organize a comeback.

The Bonne Town forward was with Charlton in their 2019/20 Championship campaign, scoring 12 goals in 32 starts and eight under-appearances before moving to QPR the following summer.

Group frontman Joe Pigott started his career with the Addicks and made four starts and 12 under-appearances without scoring after making his debut in August 2013 before moving on to the summer of 2016 after a number of loan spells.

Addicks goalie Stephen Henderson made 24 starts for the Blues on loan at Town under Mick McCarthy in 2013/14. The Irishman has only made two FA Cup starts so far for the South Londoners who joined them in September.

Charlton midfielder Harry Arter made a few appearances for Town’s reserves in 2009 during a trial at Portman Road after being recently released by the Addicks without making a senior appearance.

The former Republic of Ireland international returned to the valley on loan from Nottingham Forest this summer after a 12-year absence.

Another Forster-Caskey midfielder is the stepson of former Blues forward Nicky Forster.

Tuesday’s referee is Christopher Sarginson of Staffordshire, who has received 69 yellow cards and a red card in 21 games so far this season.

Sarginson’s last game against Town was the 4-1 win at Blackpool in October of last year, in which he booked Andre Dozzell and Myles Kenlock.

He was also responsible for the February 2020 2-1 loss at Bloomfield Road, in which he cautioned Flynn Downes and three players at home. Town felt they had been denied a very strong request for a penalty when Freddie Sears suffered a foul in the first half

Sarginson also refereed the 2-1 home loss to Coventry during an FA Cup replay at Portman Road in December 2019 in which he kept his cards in his pocket throughout.

Prior to that he was in charge of the 1-0 victory at Gillingham in September 2019 in which he booked James Wilson and Alan Judge as well as a home player.

His only Blues game before that was the 2-0 home win over Brighton in September 2014 in which he booked Cole Skuse, Jonny Parr, Paul Anderson and three of the visitors.

Squad of: Walton, Hladky, Donacien, Vincent-Young, Clements, Penney, Edmundson, Nsiala, Burgess, Woolfenden, Morsy, Evans, Harper, El Mizouni, Carroll, Fraser, Humphreys, Chaplin, Celina, Edwards, Bonne, Pigott, Jackson.

Photo: Action images

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Texastom added 20:34 – Dec 6

The legend, I note, said we should have had it on board before. He has supported Colchester for four seasons, with the club twice finishing a place outside the Ligue 2 playoffs and losing in the playoff semi-finals at the end of the 2019-20 season.


BossMan added 20:49 – dec 6

Good luck Jean. You will have the best support outside the league to cheer you on for 90 minutes


saledingusmagee added 22:20 – Dec 6

Good luck John, get a win in a televised game, and you will certainly cheer us up, just hope the team put in a good 90 minute performance for you. [ and not get beaten in added time ] COYB


saledingusmagee added 22:23 – dec 6

SORRY THAT DOESN’T MATCH TV, I was thinking of the Cup rerun, lol


Robert_Garrett added 00:10 – December 7

Been too predictable for the opposition to play against, so let’s surprise them with something less obvious and score SIX?


trembling city added 00:59 – December 7

2 in the front please !!!!!!


Karlosfandangal added 01:58 – Dec 7
I would like to see a 4-2-2-2 with Pigott up front with Bonne Fraser and Alamo on the wings and Mosey and Evans in the middle.

If we go for the 1 up front, Charlton will expect it.

Go ahead and ask Charlton to change formation.

Whoever the manager is, I hope Town is always within touching distance when appointed.


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