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Charlton boss hopes for a draw

last updated Thursday 05th January 2012, 11:22 PM

Charlton boss Chris Powell Charlton boss Chris Powell has admitted a replay would be a good outcome for Charlton ahead of this weekend's big FA Cup tie at Fulham.

The Addicks take on Premier League opponents for the first team in a year after being knocked out of the competition at the same stage by Spurs 12 months ago.

However, a lot has changed in SE7 since then and Charlton head to Craven Cottage with a real chance of causing an upset as League One leaders.

They will be cheered on by 7,000 loyal away fans and although Powell accepts his team face a tough ask against a side whose last result was a 2-1 win over Arsenal, he added a draw wouldn't necessarily be out of the question.

He said: "This game is not going to show much about us because we are playing a side that is two leagues up.

"Can we compete?


"Can we go there and get a result?

"Possibly, but it is slim because if it was here at The Valley then you would kind of give us more of a chance.

"But going there for any side will be tough.

"We are going to have to make sure we start off right and let that breed confidence within our players."

Powell added: "They've got to handle the occasion as well with the amount of away support, which is always good for us.

"It will be nice just to see how we do and as the game goes on see how we progress.

"If it is tight then of course you will be looking to get the real positive result from it.

"Do we want a replay?

"Possibly because I think coming to The Valley will be a tough ask for them, but we would have to go some to get a replay.

"Because of what we are aiming for and trying to achieve this year, it is a bit of a one-off game for us.

"It is a game where there is no pressure.

"We haven't got a thing to lose at all because everyone is expecting the home result.

"I'm looking forward to it and I think everyone should do."

Powell has consistently made wholesale changes for cup ties so far this season, but the manager hinted that policy might change for the first time on Saturday.

He explained: "I will decide tomorrow exactly where I'm going with that because I do have to be mindful, and no disrespect to Halifax and Carlisle where we made changes, but we are playing a Premier League team.

"So I've got to make sure the balance is right and that I feel we've got a team capable of competing against them on their own patch, which will be very hard for us, make no doubt about it.

"But we're in a good place and I'm glad we responded in the way we did against Brentford.

"Our confidence is good leading up to the game, so I'm really having a long think about my team and what XI will be out there.

"Whoever it is, whatever XI, they'll be ready for the game."

Premier League sides regularly make wholesale changes of their own when facing lower league opposition, although Powell added it is irrelevant if the Cottagers do decide to adopt this policy as far as he is concerned.

The Valley chief said: "It doesn't matter, it is going to be tough and Martin Jol knows his squad best.

"He has moved it around for different games in the Europa League.

"Whatever XI Fulham put out it is going to be a good team because he has got some good players there.

"His squad is well stocked with experienced players from the Premier League and he has got one or two good young players that I'm sure he will want to see.

"Maybe he may decide to make changes but again he may think 'I want to progress and I want to put out my strongest team to ensure there is no upset'.

"Only Martin can tell you that and I'll found out at 2pm exactly what XI he will put out, but it will be a good Premier League side which can compete in that league for sure, so it is going to be a tough day for us."

Source George Jones at News Shopper
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