Now the hard work begins!

Last updated : 06 October 2003 By Alex Dale
The defeat left Portsmouth in 10th - still in the top half of the table but with a potential confidence crisis after gaining only 1 point out of a possible twelve in the last four games. We only have to look at our opponents on Saturday - Charlton Athletic, this generation's Wimbledon - to see how a bad run can affect a team in the top flight. In 1998/1999, Charlton topped the league briefly after a 5-0 victory over Southampton - but a run of ten straight defeats in early 1999 sapped the strength of the team and their promising start counted for little as they were relegated on the last day of the season after a 1-0 defeat by Sheffield Wednesday. The home game against Liverpool therefore takes greater importance - the Reds themselves are nursing a run of two straight defeats and this is a game which could shape the seasons for the two teams.

Steve Stone bemoaned a lack of playing resources as the reason behind Portsmouth late slump against the Addicks, stating: "There is a long cold winter ahead if we carry on as we did against Charlton in the last 20 minutes.

"We have to strengthen and I think we will because, after Christmas, as well as the inevitable injuries, suspensions come into play. All clubs get them and only the bigger squads survive."

Potsmouth lead for a large chunk of the match through Teddy Sheringham but faded towards the end and Charlton claimed a smash and grab victory through John Fortune (79) and Shaun Bartlett deep into injury time.