Life-threatening event gives Reed right perspective

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Les Reed is prepared for the struggle to keep Charlton in the Premiership, having already won the biggest battle he is ever likely to face. Charlton's new head coach has endured a miserable week, suffering the ignominy of Carling Cup quarter-final defeat to League Two Wycombe and then reading his chairman, Richard Murray, asserting in the media that Reed's efforts have so far not been good enough.

Tuesday's loss to Wycombe prompted sections of the crowd to call for his dismissal, but Reed is adequately equipped to overcome this latest setback because nine years ago he survived a brain haemorrhage.

He said: "It [losing to Wycombe] is certainly not the worst thing that has happened to me in my life, but it's pretty near it in terms of being able to do something about it, and these next eight days are going to be a difficult period for us because of the situation we're in.

"The worst thing that happened to me was being carried off that training ground with a brain haemorrhage and being rushed to hospital in early 1997. That puts everything into perspective for me. It's the sort of thing that could happen to anybody. There was no particular reason for it. It was a burst blood vessel basically. I've never had a problem since and I've no reason to believe that I will.

"If I can solve that problem and come back from that, I'm confident I can solve this one. I don't feel stressed, I feel upset and frustrated and disappointed with the way things are going. But I think stress is one of those things that is going to get in my way and distract me from the job in hand when I need to be as focused and relaxed as possible to make sure I make the right decisions."