Dowie: Addicks are improving

Iain Dowie believes things are slowly “coming together” for his new-look Charlton side.

Iain Dowie believes things are slowly “coming together” for his new-look Charlton side.

The Addicks moved into the last eight of the Carling Cup for the first time via a penalty shoot-out victory over Chesterfield in midweek to stretch their unbeaten run to five matches.

Despite their upturn in fortunes, the south-east London club remain at the foot of the Barclays Premiership.

But with several of his squad now returning to full fitness, Dowie remains positive about the battles ahead.

“We are basing it around a good solid defence and they are coming together,” said Dowie, who took over from long-serving manager Alan Curbishley during the summer.

“We are not there yet, but we are certainly improving. Three wins and two draws in five games is certainly the right way to go.”

Dowie added: “Wigan will be another tough game. They have plenty of pace and power up front but it is one we are all looking forward to.

Striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink scored twice at Chesterfield and could retain his place in the starting 11 for the trip to Lancashire.

The veteran former Chelsea striker, 34, has endured a frustrating time since arriving on a free transfer from Middlesbrough during the summer.

Dowie, though, could have the much-travelled Dutchman partner leading marksman Darren Bent for Saturday’s trip to Wigan.

The Charlton manager has every confidence Hasselbaink will soon be back on the goal trail in the Premiership.

“I did not bring Jimmy here for any other reason than his history as a goalscorer,” said Dowie.

“We have played a different system and Jimmy has not started, but that is not to underestimate his impact.

“He is clever footballer, has played in all the leagues of the world.

“Darren’s pace and ability to stretch defences means Jimmy can come from deep and show around the box.

“Jimmy still hits the ball like a rocket and I was delighted for him with his goals against Chesterfield.”

Winger Dennis Rommedahl (groin) is rated as only 50/50 for the trip to the JJB Stadium.

Defenders Djimi Traore, Gonzalo Sorondo and Cory Gibbs are all now back in training following their injury problems, but are still not ready for first-team contention.

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