Dowie ready to unleash Bent and Hasselbaink

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The Independent Football

The Charlton manager, Iain Dowie, is confident of starting Darren Bent and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink together in attack for the first time as the Addicks' pre-season campaign steps up a gear at Dutch side Utrecht tomorrow.

Bent is recovering well from an injury to his hand - which happened while the England striker was making a sandwich at home - and turned out for the second half of the 2-1 win over Germinal Beerschot in the Netherlands last night.

With summer signing Hasselbaink given a rest, Dowie is likely to throw the pair in from the kick-off for what will be the final warm-up game ahead of Charlton's Premiership opener at West Ham next weekend.

"We are pleased with that from Darren - it was another 45 minutes from him and he is getting sharper all the time," said Dowie, who had introduced Bent for the closing stages against New Zealand on 5 August, with Hasselbaink substituted soon after.

"The game against Utrecht is three or four days ahead of when he should be back. He's coming along nicely and we'll step things up again on Friday."

Kevin Lisbie was also back in action, while the young striker James Walker, a former England youth international, impressed as he found the net on 25 minutes only to go off later with a foot injury.

The 20-year-old has returned to the Charlton squad after initially being released at the end of last season, with Dowie recalling him after taking over from the long-serving coach Alan Curbishley, who departed in the summer.

"The reason I brought him back is that I saw him in couple of reserve games and thought he had a lot to offer," Dowie said. "I had a good chat with [coach] Mark Robson and thought it was the right thing to do - and James has not let me down. He did well to get another goal and he has done well in pre-season."

Dowie has completed the £4m double move for the versatile defender Djimi Traoré and midfielder Amdy Faye. But he said he is not finished yet and wants to bring in up to three more before the weekend. One of those is understood to be the Hibernian midfielder Scott Brown. The 21-year-old scored twice in an early pre-season friendly between the two sides, but he has a long-term contract with the Edinburgh club and would not come cheaply.

Other options include giving permanent deals to trialists Xavier Farinos and the Costa Rica winger Christian Bolanos.

Elsewhere, the Aston Villa defender Gary Cahill could be back in training by the end of the week after it was revealed he only jarred his knee in Tuesday's game against NEC Nijmegen. The new Villa manager, Martin O'Neill, had been concerned at the extent of the injury but a visit to the specialist by Cahill was positive.

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