Alan Pardew has called on Charlton’s fans to give them “everything they have” as he attempts to mastermind an unlikely escape act at The Valley.
The Addicks have won just three league games in a woeful season that has seen them drop down from their usual position of mid-table security.
Crowds at The Valley have remained impressive despite the team’s dismal form, and Pardew, who was appointed as manager in place of Les Reed on Christmas Eve, wants the fans who watched the club rise from the ashes in the last 15 years to help them pull clear of relegation trouble starting against Fulham.
“The message I need to send is that the stadium will need to help us. They have been disappointed with what they have seen and have been coming to games more in hope than belief,” said Pardew, who has signed a three-and-a-half year deal after losing his job at West Ham a fortnight ago.
“But I will suggest to them that regardless of performances in the next nine or 10 games, they should just come in and give us everything they have to make it intimidating for the opposition.
“They need to do that against Fulham. Even for 30 minutes if we look horrible and are not getting it together, I want them to give us the benefit of the doubt.”
Charlton’s poor displays this season have been punctuated by a perceived lack of passion from a squad which has cruised through recent seasons in relative comfort.
Pardew has pledged to inspire the players currently on the staff, but he is prepared to wheel and deal in the January transfer window in an effort to improve his options.
“I can only be critical of them once they are under me,” said Pardew.
“They have to appreciate that I am the third manager and we don’t want it to be any more. They need to enthuse themselves and get on track. It is not about being nice, pretty and seeking that aesthetic win. It is about fighting and digging in and winning games.”
Pardew will fight it out with West Ham and up to five other clubs as he bids to preserve Premiership status for the club, who have been stable since gaining promotion as champions in 2000.