Charlton boss Phil Parkinson is hoping to pile some more pressure on league leaders Norwich as the two prepare to meet at the Valley this weekend.
City have stumbled a little of late and the 2-1 midweek defeat at Leyton Orient has made the chasing pack sit and up take notice. However, when all is said and done, they should still have enough about them to clinch promotion, with a seven-point gap to third placed Millwall, as they get set to return to the scene of that painful relegation last season.
The Addicks are a further two points behind but ‘Parky’ knows that a victory for the hosts will not only increase the nerves in Norfolk, but put the Londoners in a better position to secure one of those top-two spots.
And the Charlton chief stoked the pre-match fire by insisting that they will be doing everything they can to make City as edgy as possible. This one could be a real humdinger.
“The title is definitely theirs to lose,” he said, speaking to the News Shopper in London. “I think most of us in the division have taken it for granted they were going to go up and we were fighting for the second spot and the play-off spots.
“Obviously the recent results haven’t gone great for them but at this moment in time we’d say it’s there for them.
“I don’t think any team like to drop points two games in a row. Will there be a reaction or will that make them edgy the fact they’ve lost – who knows?
“All will be revealed come three o’clock on Saturday but we’ve just got to make sure we follow up with the way we’ve been playing lately ourselves.
“If Norwich are going to go up then we will make it as difficult for them as possible and we can control that on Saturday by getting a result.
“Let’s get them edgy, let’s make them a bit nervous because in the last couple of months it has been plain sailing for them, so it will be good if we can put them under a bit of pressure on Saturday.”
With just three games left after this weekend, the finishing line is still clearly in sight for Lambert’s men. If Huddersfield defeat Millwall tomorrow night and Swindon fail to beat Walsall at the County Ground, then the Canaries can actually be promoted with a win at the Valley.
But Parkinson believes they may well be feeling a tad more nervous with the chasing pack edging that little bit closer with Tuesday’s set of results.
“I think they’ll be looking over their shoulders. I’ve been in that position as a player before when you’re there and for everyone else it looks like an unassailable lead but for you as a manager you don’t actually know.
“History will tell you it’s not over until it’s over and strange things can happen but they’re in the box seat; there is no doubt about that.”
In team news, Sam Sodje [swollen knee] faces a wait to see if he will recover in time, but striker Deon Burton could have a part to play after coming through training this week.
“He hasn’t joined in with a great deal of football but in terms of running he has done a lot, so I’m pleased where he is in terms of fitness. But obviously I don’t want to reveal the team on Thursday afternoon.
“But anybody in any league who loses their top scorer, you know it’s going to be a bonus when you get him back and you know he comes back refreshed into the group ready to challenge for his place.”
Don’t go too far away tomorrow as you’ll be able to read all the news and views from the pre-match Colney press conference here on MFW.