Charlton hoping pitch at Valley playable after rain
CHARLTON Athletic have their fingers crossed that today's Championship clash with Derby County at The Valley will survive the forecast heavy rain.
The pitch was wet but playable yesterday afternoon, although Charlton were concerned about the weather forecast.
They planned a precautionary pitch inspection at 9am this morning.
Head of operations Mick Everett said it would have been pointless getting a referee in yesterday to inspect the pitch.
He added: "However, we're concerned that the pitch cannot take much more water and from around midday today the forecast is for torrential rain in the three-hour period leading up to kick-off.
"This would mean that there is the very real prospect of the pitch becoming waterlogged."
"We're very conscious of supporters' travel arrangements and want to provide them with as much information as we possess.
"If the forecast stays as it is and the rain is as bad as we fear in the final few hours before kick-off, that would cause us a significant problem."
The club have asked for around 10 volunteers to assist the club's groundstaff with forking the pitch from noon today.
Rams manager Nigel Clough is wary of the potential threat posed by Charlton today. The Addicks have dropped to 18th in the Championship table on the back of three successive defeats.
However, before their current five-game winless run, they went five matches unbeaten, winning four.
The first of those, in early November, was a 5-4 home victory over leaders Cardiff City.
"Charlton have lost their last three and we've lost our last two, so both sides are under a bit of pressure to get a result," said Clough.
"Like anyone in this division, they are capable of causing problems.
"Only a few weeks ago, they put five past Cardiff, who have one of the most miserly defences in the division.
"So we don't need to look any further than that as to how dangerous they can be.