Alan Pardew, the Charlton Athletic manager, knows that promotion back to the Premier League will require him to manage personalities as well as talent.
His players waltzed past an abysmal Leicester City side with some style, thanks to goals from Chris Iwelumo and Luke Varney, his first for his club, which sealed a victory that seemed all too easy for Charlton.
Behind the scenes, however, Pardew revealed it had been anything but. He left Jerome Thomas, the talented former Arsenal player, who was arrested by police in Bournemouth earlier this month after being involved in a fight in a pizza restaurant, out of the squad for the second game running.
"My experience at West Ham taught me not to create any negativity in any shape or form and not accept it," Pardew said. "I am not going to accept it from any individual and any staff member.
"If you are going to get promoted, it is not just about good players and a good chairman. It is about organisation and discipline. If somebody's character upsets me, I will let them know."
Charlton certainly showed a strong character to dominate this encounter, with their midfield players, including Zheng Zhi and Andy Reid, the captain, highly impressive. Jose Semedo, however, was the pick of the bunch – the Portuguese midfielder had, according to Pardew, "his strongest game since he's been here."
The home side took the lead after 18 minutes when Iwelumo drove home from close range. Another goal came five minutes later, through Varney, the £2m summer purchase from Crewe Alexandra.
The Leicester-born striker said of his manager: "Alan is a great man and has great man-management skills. He keeps everyone on their toes. If things are not going well, he will be on top of you and give you the kick up the backside."
Pardew added: "I've not had a chance to see a lot of the sides, but the teams we've been up against show it's a tough division, and I'm pleased that we've started well. But that's all we've done, start well.
"Seven games and 14 points means we're on schedule, and that's the standard we have to stick to in the next seven games."
His Leicester counterpart, the recently appointed Gary Megson, was understandably rueful after the game.
"We gifted the game to Charlton early on," Megson said. "We started well and had a few shots from distance but we didn't make them work hard enough for their goals.
"The defending for those goals had to be seen to be believed, and it wouldn't be acceptable on the parks on a Sunday morning. We finished stronger than we started, but that has to be the other way round."
Goals: Iwelumo (18) 1-0; Varney (23) 2-0.
Charlton Athletic (4-4-2): Weaver; Mills, Bougherra, Fortune, Powell; Sam (Ambrose, 88), Zheng, Semedo, Reid (Sodje, 84); Varney (McLeod, 76), Iwelumo. Substitutes not used: Randolph (gk), Todorov.
Leicester City (4-4-2): Fulop; Stearman, McAuley, Kisnorbo, Mattock; Hume (Kishishev, h-t), Clemence, Chambers, Sheehan (N'Gotty, h-t); Cort, Fryatt (Campbell 62). Substitutes not used: Henderson (gk), De Vries.
Referee: S Tanner (Somerset).
Booked: Charlton Powell, McLeod.
Man of the match: Semedo.
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