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Premier League

Shaun Bartlett key to the success

Charlton would go on to finish ninth that season and established themselves as part of the Premier League furniture over the next few years. With a shrewd manager in Alan Curbishley, a group of committed players and sensible stewardship from above, they consistently overperformed on a limited budget.

“I think it’s got to come down to the club itself, the management and the technical team,” Bartlett says. “The way they select players to come and join the team, and get results against the big clubs.

“Maybe we weren’t always the favourites, but we always managed to get the best out of each other, and then surprise opponents with the performances that we put in.

“We finished seventh in the league one year. It was one of those seasons where nothing could go wrong for Charlton, and the support at The Valley was always unbelievable as far as getting behind the team was concerned.”

Bartlett unsurprisingly reserves praise for Curbishley, adding: “I think he’s a manager who can not only motivate players but always give you every detail possible in order to compete against the opponent.

“He also had a good number two in Mervyn Day. They always say, as a manager you’re only as good as your number two.

“Mervyn was that buffer between the players and Curbishley. We probably had more contact with Mervyn on a regular basis, but without a doubt Curbishley always knew how to get the best out of his players.”

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Alan Curbishley Bartlett Charlton Shaun Bartlett


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