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By ESPN Staff
Nov 10, 2006

Addicks have the right man in Dowie - Jewell

Paul Jewell insists Charlton fans need not have any concerns about the future under Iain Dowie.

After replacing long-serving boss Alan Curbishley at The Valley this summer, Dowie has endured a difficult first couple of months.

Despite last week's win over Manchester City, Charlton head to Wigan tomorrow bottom of the Premiership, with their supporters fearing their much-cherished top flight status is under severe threat.

So far, the Charlton board have stood resolutely by Dowie, even though, with a lucrative new TV contract coming into force next season, it would be understandable if there was an element of nervousness.

And Jewell believes their patience will eventually be rewarded, claiming anyone given the task of replacing Curbishley, who spent 15 years in charge, would initially find it a struggle.

'I have no fears about Charlton as far as Iain Dowie is concerned,' said Jewell.

'Undoubtedly it will take a while for Iain to settle in. Alan Curbishley had been there for 15 years and had done such a wonderful job. It was always going to be such a difficult act to follow him.

'It's like players. Some settle in quickly, others take a bit of time.

'But I know Iain well. He is a enthusiastic and top-class coach and I know no-one will be working harder than him to put it right.'

Jewell does not believe Charlton's present position is any form of crisis anyway.

Although the Addicks are last, they owe that position only to goal difference and even though Wigan have now rocketed into mid-table thanks to three successive wins, they remain only six points in front of tomorrow's opponents.

'They may be bottom but there is not much difference between us and them,' said Jewell.

'The lower half of the table is going to be very tight anyway this season.

'I am pretty sure the situation will be changing from week to week and the likes of Charlton, ourselves and plenty of other clubs will be looking over their shoulders.'

Jewell was at Saltergate on Tuesday to see Charlton squeeze past Chesterfield to the Carling Cup quarter-finals.

Although in theory the Londoners' need for extra-time and penalties should ensure Wigan are the fresher side this weekend, Jewell believes the confidence Dowie's men gained from their eventual victory should shake any tiredness out of their legs.

In any case, for the moment the Wigan boss is more concerned with his own side, who have put their own early-season trauma behind them by picking up maximum points from their last three games, two of which have been away from the JJB Stadium.

An added bonus for the Latics are three successive clean sheets, which should ensure Wigan are tight at the back tomorrow, even if their attacking options are likely to be disrupted by the loss of Gary Teale and record signing Emile Heskey, who is struggling to shake off a calf problem.

'Those three clean sheets are the most important thing,' he said.

'It is a fairly obvious statement but if you don't concede goals, you don't lose matches.

'We still need to improve and I still believe we can. But the situation is certainly looking a lot better than it did three weeks ago.'