Curbs focused on Charlton clash

Alan Curbishley today admitted that there is no escaping the magnitude of Saturday's game against Charlton, but insists that everyone is focused and ready for action.

"We know how important the game is," he says. "The two games, Watford and this one, have been of massive significance. We've blown the first one and we can't blow the second.

"Everybody going in to the game on Saturday realizes the importance of it. I look at what Watford have done in recent weeks, the boost they've got from picking a couple of wins up, Charlton have had a similar thing happen over the last five or six games, where they've picked points up. We're the team down there that hasn't.

"We're waiting for that boost to come and give us a bit of a lift. The next game is against Charlton at the Valley and hopefully we can get it. The other clubs have had that lift and you can see how much it's helped them. We're desperate for that and we'll get it on Saturday."

Having had two weeks to recover from the Watford defeat, Curbs admits that the break has been just what the side needed.

"It's probably the best chance that we've had to work with the players," he says. "We worked out that we had 12 games in seven weeks and if you add the day before games and the recovery day after the games - and a bit of bad weather as well - it's been very difficult.

"This has been the best two weeks that we've had and hopefully it will show. I think after we play Spurs next week we've got another two weeks, which may give us the opportunity to get one or two of the players who are out at the moment fully fit. It seems to be picking up on that side."

by Gemma Clarke