Cranie: no need for Addicks to panic

Charlton defender Martin Cranie insists there is no need to hit the panic button at The Valley, despite the club’s precarious league position. The Addicks are currently third from bottom in the Championship and under the very real threat of relegation to the third tier for the first time since 1980. But in a notoriously tight division, there's every chance the former Premier League stalwarts can launch a late surge for the play-offs.   Saturday’s trip to Blackpool, who are 18th in the table and seven points above Charlton, could be a turning point – and on-loan Cranie believes the south Londoners can rescue their season before the festive period. “There’s no need to panic. The table doesn’t take shape until after Christmas,” said the Portsmouth player. But the 22-year-old defender has urged his team-mates to take the game to their opponents, rather than sit back and invite pressure. “In my early games, we took the lead a couple of times, but we'd then concede an equaliser and our heads would drop. “We need to go on the front foot and take the game to our opponents more,” said the former Southampton player. After an eight-game winless run, including a 5-2 thrashing at home to Sheffield United, Charlton parted company with manager Alan Pardew. A 2-1 loss at QPR and goalless draw at home to Southampton have followed. It's a long way from Pompey's European escapades, but Cranie insists be made the right choice having a change of scenery. “I was sub for the Community Shield, then in the squad for the first couple of games, but I said to Harry Redknapp that I wanted to get out on loan. “When I heard Charlton were interested I couldn’t wait to sign. The stadium, support, facilities – they’re better than Portsmouth’s,” he said. Charlton clinched the capture of Cranie on-loan until the end of year just 20 minutes before the end of the August transfer window, with his Portsmouth team-mate Linvoy Primus joining him. But does he see himself staying in south London? “Ideally I’d love to get a chance of playing for Portsmouth at the top level, but if that isn’t possible I’d be more than happy to stay here.” For the full interview, see the new issue of FourFourTwo – featuring Cranie, Ronaldinho, Wilshere, Essandoh, Simon Jordan, 100 players your club should sign and Leeds 1974 in panto. If you're going to quote this piece, and you're welcome to, please credit us and provide a link.