It’s a well-worn cliché in football that when one player is unavailable, for whatever reason, it gives someone else an opportunity.
That’s what’s happened to me in the past few weeks due to the suspension for Christian Dailly.
I should say at the outset it was an incredibly harsh decision to send Christian off against Yeovil last month. He clashed heads with their player, but the referee thought it was an elbow.
It says something about modern football that even though their player and manager agreed after the game that it was a clash of heads, the club didn’t feel it could appeal against the decision in case Christian’s ban was extended further.
We’ve got long memories at Charlton after what happened to Osei Sankofa in January 2007. He was sent off against Arsenal, and when the club appealed, the FA gave him an extra game ban because they felt it was frivolous.
Christian’s absence, and last Saturday’s injury to Gary Doherty, gives the likes of Miguel Llera and I a chance, though, and it’s up to us to make the most of it.
With another FA Cup replay to add to a busy schedule which already includes a Johnstone’s Paint Trophy regional semi-final, the games are coming thick and fast at the moment.
We had four home games in 12 days recently, and eight games in November alone, so even ignoring the traditionally hectic fixture list over Christmas and New Year, we know that every member of the squad is going to have a role to play.
It’s not like the days in the Premier League. We don’t have a big squad any more, as the fact that four youngsters were on the bench against Luton last weekend illustrated.
I haven’t had many chances so far this season, but when I rejoined the club I knew that’s the way it would be, and it would be up to me to force my way into the team.
I’ve got to be patient but, fingers crossed, I can now hopefully get a run in the side and put some performances back-to-back.
If anyone in any position at any club is getting a continued run, it should work out that you start getting better with each game.
Weather-permitting, we’ve got Rochdale this weekend and then it’s three games in six days with Luton, Walsall and Brentford. If we can extend our unbeaten run for another month, we really will be in a great position at the start of 2011.