Alan Hansen blasted us on BBC`s Match of the Day as he branded the efforts against Liverpool in December as the ‘worst Premiership performance ever’
It seemed our likeable club had become a laughing stock, sinking fast and showing no sign of a fight back.
However, more than three months later and Hansen`s jibe still rankles at The Valley but Charlton captain Luke Young is using it to measure the revival under Alan Pardew.
‘People had started writing us off,’ said Young. ‘I remember after the Liverpool game the pundits on Match of the Day were saying it was the worst performance ever.
‘You`re an easy target when things are not going well and people were starting to get on top of us.
‘People tried to poke fun at Charlton and the way things were going but we have turned the corner and we are looking forward.
‘Now we are looking like we`ve got a real chance. It`s do-or-die time – every game is massive.’
Young returns to Saturday’s must-win game at home to Wigan after being on England duty. Darren Bent expects to be fit despite pulling out of the internationals with a knee injury. So a fully fit side can only be good news.
Should we claim a win on Saturday we will pull within three points of Paul Jewell`s team and keep the heat on Sheffield United, who have to travel to Bolton.
Pardew`s men can sense an unlikely escape route after a dreadful season, which started with seven defeats in our first eight games.
By the time of the 3-0 defeat at home to Liverpool, live on Sky on December 16, we looked doomed and boss Les Reed was destined to soon follow Iain Dowie out of the Valley exit door.
Young, who injured knee ligaments against Liverpool and missed the next six weeks of action, said: ‘We never felt we were dead and buried but we knew things weren’t right.
‘Things weren’t going well at all and when you start poorly it`s difficult to change your fortunes.
‘I got injured as well and so from being right involved in it all, I felt outside looking in.
‘The change of management seemed to make a big difference and the crowd got back with us again and since then we have been building up momentum slowly and things have got a lot better.’ Last month`s 4-0 win at home to West Ham was a huge boost to self-belief and Charlton have lost only to Chelsea and Manchester United in their last seven games. Our current form is amongst the best of the teams in the top half of The Premiership and the fans are all starting to believe we can do the unbelievable.
We are the team on the move and we still have to face fellow strugglers Wigan, Sheffield United and Manchester City.
‘It`s one of the better run-ins,’ said Young. ‘We`ve got Chelsea and Man United out of the way and we have got games where we can pick up points.
‘If we can pick up three points against one of our relegation rivals, it can make a big, big difference.
‘Look at the Man City game: if we can go away from home and take all three points there it will be massive.’
Charlton end the season at Liverpool and nothing would erase the lingering embarrassment of the ‘worst performance ever’ quite like a survival party at Anfield.
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