Charlton: Addicks more likely to sink into League One without Chris Powell

But Beagrie always expected Athletic legend to depart

Last Updated: 18/03/14 11:08am

Peter Beagrie thinks Charlton's decision to replace manager Chris Powell with Jose Riga could have a negative impact on the Londoners' fight to avoid relegation.

Addicks owner Roland Duchatelet axed fan favourite Powell earlier this week with Athletic sitting bottom of the Championship, having lost five of their last six league games, and being bundled out of the FA Cup by Sheffield United at the quarter-final stage.

Riga - who formerly served as head coach at Standard Liege, the Belgian club that Duchatelet also owns - was swiftly appointed as Powell's successor and guided his new charges to a goalless draw at home to Huddersfield on Wednesday evening.

However, Sky Sports pundit Beagrie told FL72 that the Reds - three points from safety but with four games in hand over 21st-placed Millwall, the side they combat on Saturday - are now more likely to sink into League One than they were before their managerial change-up.

"I would have backed Chris to get Charlton out of trouble more than the new manager."

Peter Beagrie

"This has left them with a manager who doesn't understand the Championship like Chris, and doesn't have an affinity with the fans like Chris," said Beagrie of the situation at Charlton.

"They had lost their two best players in January, with Yann Kermorgant (Bournemouth) and Dale Stephens (Brighton) leaving, and they don't score a lot of goals.

"But they don't let too many in and have games to play so they were in an okay situation - and I would have backed Chris to get them out of trouble more than the new manager."

Feared

The relationship between Powell and Duchatelet has seemed uneasy ever since the latter purchased The Valley club in January and drafted in Standard Liege squad members Astrit Ajdarevic, Yohan Thuram-Ulien and Reza Ghoochannejhad.

Beagrie thinks Powell's decision to leave that trio on the bench for the cup clash at Bramall Lane on Sunday could have sealed his fate, but says he always expected a parting of the ways between the 44-year-old and the club he enjoyed three spells with as a player.

"His big statement was in the cup tie against Sheffield United," Beagrie said of Powell, who propelled the Addicks to the League One title in 2012.

"These [Liege] guys were missing, with him trying to say to the owner: 'I'm going to show you that the guys here are as good, if not better, than the guys you are almost forcing me to play'.

"That said, while Chris has done a magnificent job at Charlton and is held in high regard by the fans, I think he feared the worst as soon as the new owner came in."

"He would have liked to have had funds, bearing in mind the job he had done over the last couple of seasons, including winning League One with about 20 new players coming in, and then upsetting the odds in the Championship last year and finishing ninth.

"And perhaps he thought he would get some - but it didn't happen and I think it was inevitable that he would [lose his job], with the owner intimating that Charlton could be a feeder for club for Standard Liege."