Liberally to the wounds. That's what Colchester and Huddersfield did last night as they won their respective away games. Colchester climbed above the Addicks for the first time this season and are now two points clear on the same number of games. Huddersfield closed the gap to seventh and increased the real prospect of us missing out on even the play-offs.
The added twist to the evening was faltering Leeds losing their first home match of the season to Walsall and finding themselves only three points clear of Colchester with only one game in hand.
The magnitude of our recent mini-collapse is painfully clear and there can be no greater motivation for 14 professional footballers on Saturday at the Valley.
Leeds, Colchester and Charlton all have two consecutive home games coming up against moderate opposition, so we have the prospect of maintaining our current position even if we do win both games against Yeovil and Brighton. Southend away next Friday evening might just allow us to split the pair of them, even if only for 20 hours or whatever, but that is a massive ask given our current away form.
I was critical of Parky's tinkering yesterday as it looks like a mix and match squad with so little difference available irrespective of the selection. Perhaps a switch back to a 4-5-1 might do the trick in terms of making us harder to score against and giving our midfield more time and encouraging them all to get forward and support the front man? Not my ideal, especially for home games, but I don't have any other answers given the way the squad don't appear to play for the shirt and the lack of players taking responsibility and ownership in matches.
I hope the Valley crowd will exercise some patience on Saturday and get behind the side if we play well enough and take the lead. If we don't, then frankly, it's going to be a very unpleasant afternoon for all concerned.