BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Chris Powell admits that Charlton being without Lyle Taylor and Karlan Grant for the visit of his Southend United side tomorrow is a “huge” loss.
Powell, a legend at The Valley for his playing and managerial days in SE7, has seen his own squad decimated by injuries.
“Charlton have been picking up the points over the course of the season and a key component of that is Karlan and Lyle,” he said. “But now they are missing for two different reasons, Lyle because of suspension and Karlan has been sold to Huddersfield.
“That’s nearly 30 goals taken out of the team, which is huge for any side aspiring to be top-six or top-two. But there are still players there that can cover that final third and then Lyle will come back after our game.
“I’m sure now the team will look for him to fire on all cylinders when he is back. He built up a really good relationship with Karlan. But other people will want to come in and fill the gaps, to show Lee [Bowyer] they are ready to play their part in the final run-in.”
Grant was sold to Powell’s old club at the end of last month. Charlton owner Roland Duchatelet did not free up funds for boss Bowyer to pay a fee for a replacement.
“When you’re in League One and someone comes in with a seven-figure bid it is very hard to turn that down,” said Powell. “I know what it’s like to run a club in League One, also you factor in the player – he sees an opportunity to go and play in the Premier League. Huddersfield brilliantly stayed up last season but to all intents and purposes look like they may not survive this time. Are they planning for next season? Unless Charlton come up then Karlan may see it as his best chance to bounce straight back [into the top flight].
“Lee would have been looking to replace Karlan. I know he was close, like all of us in the last few days before the deadline.”
Powell has been back twice to The Valley as a boss since being sacked by Duchatelet in 2014.
“I’ve won one and lost one,” he said. “Charlton will always be a part of me, end of story. I was back there earlier this season for an event for Chris Solly’s testimonial.
“It is one of the things that people know about me – that I played for them in the Premier League and managed them.
“It was a great part of my career and it is always great to go back – always.”