Paul backs Chris for Addicks success
Kick It Out caught up with ambassador and trustee Paul Elliott this week, to discuss Chris Powell’s first month as Charlton Athletic manager.
Having had three spells at Charlton as a player, Powell was handed the managerial position at the club in mid-January, much to the delight of the Addicks faithful, not to mention good friend Paul Elliott.
Elliott, who came through the youth system at The Valley before making 63 first-team appearances for the club, still holds Charlton very closely to his heart.
He said: “The first time I came across Chris was when he was playing at Southend United and I was really impressed with his attitude, something which has been an ever present throughout his career.
“Our paths have crossed frequently over the years, via our work with the PFA and our anti-discrimination campaigning.
“The last conversation I had with Chris, however, was a couple of days after he got the Charlton job. At that time, it was the sense of anticipation.
“Charlton is a great club and, in the long term, he is really looking to fulfil the supporter’s expectations by taking the club back to where it once was.
“I am delighted for him with the progress he has made. He has done it the hard way, with determination, application and getting his coaching qualifications, something I advocate for all young managers.”
Having won his first four games at the helm, Powell has seen his side lose consecutive fixtures against Hartlepool United and Exeter City.
Despite this dip in form, Elliott feels that Powell will remain circumspect:
“He is new in the business and like every other manager you take your results personally, I think that Chris is mature enough and sensible enough to look broader than that.
“On the contrary, I think his personality will galvanise his squad.
“Chris is a very calm, mature guy and measured guy. He has good people around to bounce around ideas and thoughts. But, come judgement day, he will prove single minded enough to make tough decisions.”
One of these decisions Powell made as Charlton boss was to hire ex-Addicks favourite Alex Dyer as his assistant. The choice to appoint the former West Ham United reserve team is backed by Elliott:
“Alex has come very much along the same path as Chris. After having a long playing career, he went into West Ham and grew progressively through the structure.
“Alex is a very ambitious guy, and is somebody that Chris knows well, but more importantly they can work a very good partnership together. I feel that Alex is going to be a credible, powerful and forceful ally for Chris.”
This Friday, Charlton travel to Notts County in search of three points to aid their promotion push. However, the game has added significance, as it is the meeting of the Football League’s only two black managers.
Looking ahead to the match-up between Powell and Paul Ince, Elliott said: “They are both great role models. They have both done it the hard way. When Paul got the Blackburn job, it never really materialised for him. ”
It may have been a bit early for him, but he’s not going to say no to an opportunity like that is he?
“In terms of visibility, it should give hope and inspiration to a lot of the young coaches in the system.
“It can show people out there that this is what can be achieved if you are ready to work hard, focus and of course, earn the right for those opportunities.
“It can also show current players they have got great opportunities to go on and become managers.”