Charlton face tough test at Middlesbrough, says Chris Powell

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Charlton Athletic boss Chris Powell envisages a closely-fought encounter at the Riverside on Saturday, despite Middlesbrough's dismal run of form.

The Addicks are the Championship's in-form team at the moment, registering four wins and two draws from their last six matches.

But, the ex-England defender was keen to retain a sense of perspective, suggesting that every team in the division has the propensity to cause problems.

He told the official Charlton website: "At Championship level, it doesn't matter who you play.

"People can talk about the miserable run that Middlesbrough have been on, but it's a tough game."

While the Londoners haven't tasted defeat since March, Tony Mowbray's side have had a torrid recent spell in comparison.

Boro have lost seven of their last nine contests which has seen them go from promotion hopefuls to mid-table consolidation.

Powell, though, expects the home side to dictate proceedings - just like they did when they visited the Valley in November.

"I'm sure they'll be on the front foot and I'm sure they'll be looking to put us under pressure, but we're in a good place and I think he [Mowbray] knows that."

Inspirational captain Johnnie Jackson and recently returned Andy Hughes are doubts for the Middlesbrough game, but Powell is uncertain if they will be declared fit in time.

"Hopefully they will come back in, but if not, I'm sure that they will be back in contention for the last game," he said.

Charlton sit five points outside the play-offs with two games remaining, so a win in north Yorkshire coupled with defeats for Crystal Palace and Bolton would set up a grand finale on the last day of the season.

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Chris Powell
Charlton Athletic

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