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The tale of two talismans

By ESPN Staff

Varney hails 'exceptional' Reed after Dowie departure

Charlton chief executive Peter Varney has backed Les Reed and Mark Robson to rescue the club from their perilous position at the foot of the Premiership.

Reed has been promoted to head coach following last night's decision to sack Iain Dowie, and Robson will be his assistant.

There could be another member added to the management team - with Glenn Hoddle an early favourite among bookmakers - but Varney insists much of the responsibility will fall on Reed and Robson, who were both on Dowie's staff.

Varney confirmed on Sky Sports News: 'Les Reed and Mark Robson will step up and run the team, and we are probably looking for a third person to come in and help them.

'We feel we need stability more than ever. They are both Charlton people and we're very, very confident they will start to turn this club around.'

Describing Reed as 'an exceptional coach', Varney also defended the appointment of Dowie, who arrived at The Valley soon after leaving Crystal Palace in the summer but lasted just 12 Premiership matches.

'When you appoint someone in the summer, that is based on an interview process,' said Varney.

'We think we backed him to the hilt, both in terms of the £11million we gave him (for signings) - we've got the biggest wage budget this club has ever had in its history - and off the field we've backed him tremendously in terms of his court case.

'People can say that 12 games is too early but, if that's what we feel, we have to change.'

Varney, who considers Charlton to be 'in serious trouble' after taking just eight points so far this season, added: 'We don't take decisions like these lightly, but if we have to act because it's in the best interests of the club then we will.'

In a message to supporters, some of whom wanted Dowie to be given more time, Varney said: 'Everybody is entitled to their opinion. They have to trust us - we've been here a long, long time.'

He stressed: 'This is not a panic measure. It is a cold, considered look at what is going on here.'

Varney revealed Dowie, 41, took the board's decision 'not very well'.

There will be no return to Charlton for Alan Curbishley, Dowie's predecessor who stood down at the end of last season after 15 years in charge.

Curbishley has declared himself ready to return to management, following a long holiday, but he has ruled himself out of contention for the Addicks post.

Varney said: 'I think Alan came out straight away (after Dowie was sacked) and said he didn't see going back as being an option, and I think that's right from both perspectives.'