Dowie sets Rommedahl target
By Phil Jackson
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Charlton boss Iain Dowie has laid down the gauntlet for winger Dennis Rommedahl.
Iain Dowie has challenged winger Dennis Rommedahl to prove himself on a consistent basis for Charlton Athletic this term.
The 28-year-old Danish international joined the Addicks two years ago, but never played to his potential regularly enough under Alan Curbishley.
But Dowie's arrival from Crystal Palace seems to have injected some extra life into the player's game, as he showed in the 2-1 defeat at Chelsea on Saturday.
"I think he is one of those players that when you see him on his day you think he can be electric. We are looking for that on a consistent basis," Dowie explained.
"If Dennis continues to show the form he did last week against Chelsea then there is no question that he is a real asset to any team.
"He has got blistering pace and it is just a case of producing that week in, week out.
"You need to play Dennis a certain way. You need to give him a bit of freedom to attack and not maybe shackle him as much. It is difficult for us managers because we like to have both sides of the game.
"I've always said that if you like the flair-type players you have to make them work. If you feed them enough of the ball then you are going to get work out of him. Last week he did that very well."
The suggestion that Rommedahl has been spurred on because his contract is set to expire at the end of the season, has been treated with disdain by Dowie, as he wants to see passion from all his players.
"You've got to have that desire to be the best you can be - whether your contract is up or you've got five years left," Dowie continued.
"The best players in the world have got that. Paul Scholes turns up week in, week out and you never hear a peep from him about what his contract situation is and he is eight or nine out of 10 every week.
"That is why he is the top level. You have to focus on improving yourself rather than just on contracts."
New arrivals Souleymane Diawara, Djimi Traore and Andy Reid were all injured in the match against the champions and will miss the game against Portsmouth at the weekend.
With Jerome Thomas (metatarsal), Gonzalo Sorondo (back), Cory Gibbs (knee) and Jonathan Fortune (toe) all still out and Hermann Hreidarsson serving the last two games of his suspension, the manager is trying to stay upbeat in the face of adversity.
"It is very disappointing because we pride ourselves on covering every base," Dowie added.
"We bring in lads a bit late and they both pick up muscular injuries.
"We've got a few problems but we'll get on with it - we'll go into the game being positive because that is all we've got left."