Reed looks for festive cheer with Carling semi-final place

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The Independent Football

Les Reed knows a place in the semi-finals of the Carling Cup would help to bring some much-needed festive cheer to The Valley.

The Addicks are second bottom of the Premiership following Saturday's 3-0 rout by Liverpool, but the prospect of moving closer to a Cup final is well within their grasp against League Two side Wycombe tonight.

Reed had a season with the Chairboys in the late 1970s when the club were still part-time, but there will be little room for sentiment as he seeks to lift the spirits around Floyd Road.

"If we come off tomorrow night victorious then the fans will be very happy, the players will be pleased and it will be a complete contrast in the dressing room," said the Charlton manager. "What I hope is, that happens and that we get a big boost from it leading on to our League programme. I think it can be beneficial.

"I try hard with the players and the staff to focus on the positives - no matter how small they are and not to dwell on the problems. We can sort out the solution - but it is hard when you are in this position. However, there is no point giving up because at some stage something will happen and very quickly confidence can grow. We know that and we will keep working to make it happen."

Reed feels Wycombe will fancy their chances of "an upset." The Charlton manager said: "I think they will be very positive about the game. They are very well organised and are coming off a good run themselves.

"It is a massive game for them to be able to take a Premiership scalp. It will be their Cup final and I think they will approach it in a very positive way, so it is a big challenge for us."

Charlton will head into the festive schedule without the services of captain Luke Young. The England full-back suffered a knee injury during the defeat by Liverpool and could be out for around six weeks.

"I have had a long chat with Luke this morning and, hopefully, he will be in and around the dressing room trying to gee the lads up. Nobody wants to get out of it more than he does," the manager continued.

Reed hopes to be able to do some business in the January sales, although he accepts there will be nothing like the £11m spent by his predecessor, Iain Dowie, in the last transfer opening.

Reed admits he could do with the added incentive of a potential League Cup final appearance to entice new players. "Certainly, when we are trying to attract players we will have to throw everything in the pot," he said. "So if we are successful it is a good selling point."

He added: "The problem we have got at the moment is that we have struggled with injuries all season, and the squad is not as balanced or as broad as I would like it to be.

"Therefore I would like to bring in fresh faces, so that we have got some choice and flexibility and some serious competition for places."