Holland - Ipswich need to take advantage of Charlton’s unrest

Former Ipswich and Charlton captain Matt Holland

Former Ipswich and Charlton captain Matt Holland - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town can take advantage of the huge unrest surrounding Charlton Athletic when the two sides meet at The Valley on Saturday lunchtime (12.30pm).

Matt Holland chases after Danny Haynes at Portman Road in 2008

Matt Holland chases after Danny Haynes at Portman Road in 2008

So says Matt Holland, a man who skippered both clubs and who continues to follow both their fortunes closely.

Addicks fans are planning to stage a protest during the Sky televised game to make clear their discontent with Roland Duchâtelet – the Belgian owner who has hired and fired a succession of low profile managers from the continent.

The club’s chief executive Katrien Meire suggested recently that it is only two per cent of fans who are unhappy with the way the club is being run.

As a result, fans group ‘Voice of The Valley’ have urged those that attend Saturday’s game to join a 60 second demonstration in the second minute by holding up banners and chanting ‘stand up for the two per cent’.

“It’s not a great situation at Charlton,” said Holland, the south London club currently 20th in the Championship table.

“Since Chris Powell was sacked (in March 2014) they have had three ‘head coaches’ (Belgian duo Jose Riga and Bob Peeters, as well as Israeli Guy Luzon) and now they’ve got an interim manager (Belgian Karel Fraeye).

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“The fans are unhappy at the way the club is being run and a couple of wins (against Sheffield Wednesday and Birmingham) doesn’t seem to have done much to appease them.

“The demonstrations are bound to affect their players on Saturday. As much as you try to concentrate once you step on the pitch, off-field stuff like that does become a cloud that follows you around.

“I know because I had it at Bournemouth when the players weren’t getting paid and I had it at Ipswich when the club went into administration.

“It’s up to Ipswich to take advantage of all that unrest and unease. If they can make a fast start then the crowd will turn.”

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