Charlton Athletic 1 Preston North End 2: Brown goals are a Ruud awakening for Charlton

Ruud van Nistelrooy is not someone you would expect to affect the outcome of the Championship relegation battle, but should Preston North End stay in the division the Real Madrid player may be owed a debt of gratitude by a fellow centre-forward, Chris Brown.

Brown's manager, Alan Irvine, showed him tapes of Van Nistelrooy, urging him to take special notice of the positioning and movement of the former Manchester United player. It paid off at The Valley as Brown's assured finishes earned the points which lifted Preston three places in the table. They are four points above the drop.

"He [Irvine] called us into a meeting and we watched Van Nistelrooy's goals when he was at Man Utd and Real Madrid," Brown said. "It was how he was always on the move and always gets to the middle of the goal. When you watch it, he makes it look easy. We were in there about 45 minutes, just watching and rewinding each move. It was great to see."

It is a trick Irvine has used before. While assistant manager at Everton he showed a similar tape to a young Wayne Rooney. With tongue very firmly in cheek, Brown added: "Obviously Rooney hasn't taken it on board, has he? He's been struggling."

Charlton's manager, Alan Pardew, conceded that the defeat – a sixth at home this season – means that automatic promotion is beyond his side. While Preston may start dusting off videos of everyone from Maradona to Jimmy Greaves, Pardew has no desire to place himself in front of a television screen.

"It was a horrible, horrible day," he said. "It's a video that I'll never watch, I promise you. I wouldn't put any Charlton fan through that. I wouldn't even make my players sit through that video. I don't think that would do them any good at all."

The crowd were agitated from the moment Brown put a calm finish into the roof of the net after 15 minutes. Charlton were booed off at half-time and again in a stadium that was half-empty at the end. "I feel for the fans today, paying good money and watching a load of crap," Pardew said.

Patrick McCarthy toe-poked in an equaliser with 15 minutes to go but Brown got his side a deserved victory three minutes later, controlling Simon Whaley's cross with his left foot before volleying in with his right. Van Nistelrooy would have been proud.

Goals: Brown (15) 0-1; McCarthy (74) 1-1; Brown (77) 1-2.

Charlton Athletic (4-4-2): Weaver; Halford (Iwelumo, 82), Sodje, McCarthy, Youga; Sam (Sinclair, 14), Holland, Zhi, Ambrose; Lita, Varney (Gray, 46). Substitutes not used: Elliot (gk), Semedo.

Preston North End (4-4-2): Lonergan; Jones, St Ledger, Mawene, Davidson; Sedgwick, McKenna, Carter, Whaley (Hill, 87); Brown, Priskin (Mellor, 71). Substitutes not used: C Neal (gk), L Neal, Trotman.

Referee: G Hegley (Hertfordshire).

Man of the match: Brown

Attendance: 25,124.

Arts and Entertainment
filmPoldark production team claims innocence of viewers' ab frenzy
Life and Style
Google marks the 81st anniversary of the Loch Ness Monster's most famous photograph
techIt's the 81st anniversary of THAT iconic photograph
News
Katie Hopkins makes a living out of courting controversy
people
News
General Election
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders