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Rumours

I’m not one for scurrilous rumours. Aribo to Arsenal, Bauer to Blackburn, Theresa May will she won’t she, Trump didn’t did he, he probably did, but one stopped me in my tracks today, although it was hardly surprising.

“QPR sound out Lee Bowyer as new manager after axing Steve McClaren” screamed the Evening Standard tonight. No quotes, no inside knowledge, no investigative journalism. Just an arrow shot into Charlton fan’s hearts.

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Charlton Athletic 1 Bradford City 0

Another three points in the pocket, not an awful lot more to say than that.

The first half sounded decent enough and we had already created a couple of chances before Lyle Taylor finished well to put us ahead. The Bantams had chances too, but we really should have been two up at the half when the livewire Taylor saw a long range shot hit the post and then blazed over when it was easier to score.

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Text message

The communication machine is well and truly in motion among Roland Duchatelet’s power cracker management elite. Not quite a trans-channel telegraph but a text message, sent to Lee Bowyer last night telling him that he will probably get an offer of some kind from the owner next week.

Outwardly at least, Bowyer looks as if not much bothers him and rightly is putting results and performances over and above waiting for a text message “from someone who works for the owner.” Bowyer also reminds those concerned that Johnnie Jackson and Andy Marshall and he come as a team. All three of those gentlemen’s work will not have gone unnoticed by others.

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Sir Chris sacked

Southend United have sacked Chris Powell today with 7 league games left.

In a very short statement the club said: “The results over a number of weeks, 11 games without a win, has impacted all concerned and immediate changes needed to be made.”

The Shrimpers were buzzing around the play-off’s prior to Christmas, but have not won since the middle of January.

The debate about how good a manager Sir Chris is will go on. It is clear he is not a firefighter manager but a builder of teams. Trouble is very few clubs allow time or finances for that. Southend was a bit of a safe haven for Powell, but he hasn’t put his mark on it, and a top half finish would have given him another season at least.

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Bielik returns injured

Charlton had six players away on international duty – Lyle Taylor, Igor Vetokele, Krystian Bielik, Josh Cullen, Josh Parker and Chris Maxwell. The last three didn’t get to play although Cullen may get another chance on Tuesday when the Irish host Georgia.

Taylor’s long trip to the Cayman Islands ended most likely in disappointment, but Igor’s Angola qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations after they beat Botswana 1-0 on Friday. Bielik played for Poland’s U21 against England in a friendly at Ashton Gate and fell awkwardly in the 2nd half, but did finish the game.

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Confusion over Montserrat

I may live on an Atlantic outpost but before I went to bed last night by my reckoning and from the table I was looking at only a big Nicaragua win in Barbados would see Lyle Taylor’s Montserrat missing out on a 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup place.

Apparently not. Nicaragua’s 1-0 win thanks to a Juan Barrera’s goal on 70 minutes meant they finished 9th and Montserrat 11th, not 10th. Websites and general up to date information is not easy to find from this region and the table I was following had not been updated.

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Bermuda and Montserrat qualify for Gold Cup

Bermuda’s national football team (pop: 62,000) made history tonight by qualifying for the CONCACAF Gold Cup for the first time. It is the island’s first qualification for any major tournament.

Nakhi Wells led the Gombey Warriors, resplendent in their pink shorts and blue shorts, to a 3-1 victory in the Dominican Republic (pop: 10,785,000) and 20 places higher in the FIFA rankings. The win gave them a top 10 qualifying birth within the 34 team CONCACEF Nations League.

Wells, the most well known player in Bermuda’s ranks, scored the 2nd after Zeiko Lewis, who plays in the USA 2nd tier for Charleston Battery, equalized a very early Dom Rep opener. Justin Donawa (Columbus Crew) scored the crucial third from distance to make the game safe.

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