Now is the time to roll our sleeves up and come out fighting". I'm not suggesting that he should have said anything else, but it sounds a bit like what Pardew has been saying. To be fair he has admitted that we are in a relegation dogfight rather then mentioning how close we are to sixth place, but I worry that if we lose the next two games, Southampton being the important one, we could well be tailed off in the bottom three and that could be too much for our squad to make up with literally no confidence at all.

So this is a crucial time for us. I believe that Parkinson is probably a good manager, but I suspect that this is not the time for him to be in charge at Charlton. It is not my call, nor is it my money, but I think that the sooner we get in a permanent replacement the more likely we will be to get out of trouble. I'm not too worried about a relegation fight, I think we have too many players in their comfort zone, financially, for the battle, but the overall quality in a few (limited) areas should be enough for us to claw out enough points to finish above Doncaster, Forrest and one other side. However, if we slip to six, or heaven forbid, nine points behind safety we could be in the same position as when Pardew arrived.

I have thought for a long time that Pardew wasn't going to get us promoted, so he had failed in his job description, but until he was relieved of his duties I didn't really think that much about what came next. The squad needs, in my view, a lot more than minor surgery. I think we have, due to our recent Premier League years, granted contracts on much more attractive terms than we should have done. I have no inside information, but I would guess that Varney, McLeod, Gray, Hudson, Fortune, ZZ, Sam, Weaver, Todorov and Holland are all earning much more than the division's average. The last two in that list were offered one year extensions last summer, and are probably not going to be here next season. I doubt that we would be able to find another club that would be willing to pay us what we laid out for them, and in the case of McLeod and Varney (and Sinclair for that matter) they are probably only good enough for the division below us, where their salaries would be obscene. I hope these players can prove me wrong, but I just don't see it happening.

Add in the fact that ZZ and Fortune can leave for free in the summer, and sign contracts in advance of that on 1st January, and it does paint a bleak picture for the new manager. Thus you would expect any new man to demand a 'sacking' clause that guarantees him compensation for the damage to his reputation if he comes in and we go down, lose our better players for nothing, and sell the rest to pay for the high wages of players that we can't offload.

Despite my optimism in recent weeks the reality, that I may have accepted a little later than most, is that we are in a real mess.

Right now I'd take forth from bottom in the second division and 10,000 season ticket sales in the summer. I wouldn't have considered that two years ago. I wouldn't have even considered considering it two years ago.

I hope that Phil Parkinson can turn things around. Sadly we need stability, but in the short term we need results. Without results Parkinson will not be given long enough to build stability. So either he gets lucky and we start winning against all the odds, or he becomes another causality of the Pardew 'Boom and Bust' philosophy.

Good luck Mr Parkinson, you are going to need it.

Up the Addicks!