Football: Charlton look to long term

AFTER PULLING themselves out of the bottom three with an impressive Easter Monday victory over West Ham, Charlton are already considering leaving The Valley for a new 45,000 all-seater stadium at the Millennium Dome site in Greenwich.

Alan Curbishley, the Charlton manager, yesterday admitted that if Charlton are to survive in the Premiership, they would have to find ways of increasing the club's revenue and that involved either extending the current stadium or leaving altogether.

"A 40,000 stadium is what it takes to compete in this league," Curbishley said. "Bryan Robson is saying he's got to spend pounds 30m to catch up with the likes of Manchester United. So how much does that leave us behind them?"

Curbishley continues the club's battle for survival at the Riverside Stadium today without the Welsh international John Robinson who sustained an ankle injury at West Ham. Boro, now clear of the relegation battle after 10 points from their last four games, are expected to have strikers Brian Deane and Alun Armstrong fit again.

The Derby manager Jim Smith is worried that seemingly doomed Nottingham Forest will be able to take advantage of his side's defensive frailties, Derby having conceded eight goals in their last two matches.

"We've got a situation where Forest will play with total freedom other than the fact they want the victory for their fans," said Smith. "They'll be up for it and we've got to make sure we don't allow them the silly goals we've allowed teams in the last two games."

The Southampton goalkeeper Neil Moss gets the chance to prove he can replace injury victim Paul Jones for the remaining six matches of the season as relegation haunted Saints head to Villa Park. Moss has played in the two Premiership matches since Jones suffered a back problem while playing for Wales that will keep him out of contention for the rest of the season.

The West Ham striker Ian Wright could make his first Premiership appearance for more than three months at Leicester. Wright, whose last game was on 28 December, came through 45 minutes of a reserve game in midweek and will take his place on the bench at Filbert Street.

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