Charlton keen to replicate Portsmouth success as promotion stance revealed, while Carlisle boss accepts challenges lie ahead

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Pompey were in a similar position to Charlton last season but had hope following John Mousinho’s appointment in January

There’s just one more match to come in League One for Pompey as the 2023-24 season draws to a close on Saturday.

Having secured promotion to the second tier of English football, John Mousinho’s side were unable to continue their impressive 17-match unbeaten run when they welcomed Wigan to Fratton Park at the weekend. But that was understandable after the title celebrations that took place following the midweek win against Barnsley.

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More celebrations followed the defeat to the Latics as captain Marlon Pack was presented with the League One championship trophy in front of the Fratton faithful. Meanwhile, even more are planned, with a party on Southsea Common booked in for Sunday, April 28 - the day after the final game of the season at Lincoln.

Focus will soon enough turn to the Blues’ return to the Championship. In the meantime, here’s some of the other news that has been making the League One headlines.

Charlton reveal promotion goal

Following a 1-1 draw with Shrewsbury on Saturday, Charlton are now unbeaten in 14 matches - which is their longest undefeated run in 24 years. However, they remain on course for their worst league finish in 98 seasons, with the Addicks stuck in 16th place and unable to catch Bristol Rovers, who are a position above them in the table.

That demonstrates the trouble Charlton found themselves in when Nathan Jones took over as manager at the Valley in February. But with green shots of progress visible since his arrival, there’s already hope that next season could see the south London side replicate Pompey’s achievements this term and book a Championship return next season.

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Indeed, the current situation at the Addicks is similar to that at the Blues this time last year, with the January arrival of John Mousinho helping improve Pompey results and steering the Fratton Park outfit to an 11-match unbeaten run over the tail end of the campaign.

We all know what happened next. So, when asked about his team’s chances of promotion in 2024-25, Jones said: ‘What we want to do is build a football club over a number of years – in the time frame that we believe is possible – and we will be where we believe we will belong. Yes, we want to get promoted as quickly as possible, but, we want to build a football club that is sustainable and that is front-footed and goes after our goals.

‘We want to reinstate this to once again be a wonderful football club – that’s what we want to do. Part of that is getting promoted and part of that is playing in the top leagues. That’s what we want to do. There is a time frame on everything – so I’m not going to say 100 per cent we’re going to get promoted. Of course we want to do it next season. Yes, we want to do it as champions or in the top two.

‘We have a goal here that we want to achieve something and we believe we’re going to do that.’

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Carlisle United boss on survival ‘challenge’

Carlisle United boss Paul Simpson has praised the support his squad have received from the fans while also acknowledging the huge turnaround that is required following the club’s 29th defeat this season on Saturday (News and Star).

The already-relegated Cumbrians suffered a 3-1 loss to Wycombe in their final home game. And while the boss said the club’s fanbase ‘deserve a medal’ for the way they’ve stuck by his side this term, he’s also admitted how much of a challenge it will be to come back fighting next season in League Two.

Speaking after the record-breaking loss to the Chairboys, Simpson said: ‘This needs a huge turnaround, a huge facelift to it all. Our biggest challenge is that when we start pre-season, we are in a stronger position, and when we start next season we are in a better position, because if we’re not, we probably all know what the consequences will be. We’ve got a challenge on our hands.’

Praising the support his League One strugglers have had this term, the Carlisle boss added: ‘At the end of the game (on Saturday) it would have been very easy to get a barrage of abuse from the supporters, but I didn’t see one single person who stayed behind giving them stick.

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‘The truth is, we probably didn’t deserve (such a good reception). I can only thank them for that because it would have been very easy to do something different. Massive respect to them for doing that.’

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