Plymouth have won just one match from their last 14. They have taken just two points from the last 21 and have been beaten by Forest (away) and Derby (home) in recent weeks. Having battled for a 2-2 draw at Home Park earlier in the season, the Charlton players will be looking to go one better and notch another win that would at least add some respectability to our gap at the bottom. We also owe them for their 2-1 win at Valley last season (no Sylvain Ebanks-Blake or Barry Hayles this year), when they took our unbeaten home record. With Doncaster and Watford to come in the next Valley matches, we finally have a realistic opportunity of salvaging some home form and closing the gap on some of our fellow strugglers.
Accepting that relegation is now ten games or so away, it's time for our players to start to play with some freedom and get a few surprise results to extend our interest into April. If we can go down fighting it might have a positive impact on season-ticket renewals, especially if the club come up with an imaginative renewal scheme. If we go down without a whimper, it is very hard to see how Phil Parkinson could be allowed to retain his position, irrespective of how skint we are; that could be a recipe for further managerial disaster.
We need to do everything to ensure we get at least 10,000 bums-on-seats for August. Away support will be significantly lower than this year, even if we will be one of the grounds visiting supporters will be keenest to visit. Match-to-match numbers could vary dramatically depending upon how well we do. Charlton fans will always come back to watch a winning side, irrespective of the division we are playing in. However, if we are struggling in League One, the floating support will be next to nothing.
If we are accompanied down this year by the likes of Southampton and Watford it might soften the blow and deflect some of the acrimony that will go with us. It also means we have two immediate competitors for any chance of promotion next year. Maybe Barnsley and Doncaster would be better relegation mates?