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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov 15, 2006

Reed 'honoured' to take charge of Charlton

New Charlton boss Les Reed admits he is 'honoured and grateful' after being appointed as successor to Iain Dowie at The Valley.

Reed, 53, was installed after Dowie's reign was cut short following just 12 Premiership matches, of which Charlton won only two.

Mark Robson was named his assistant - both men being promoted from within the club's coaching structure - and a third man may come in to join them.

Reed said: 'It was a terrific compliment in as much as the chairman thought he could appoint me straight away.

'I got the call that Iain had parted company with the club on Monday night while I was stuck on the M11.

'I assumed that in the short term I would have to take charge of first-team affairs until the chairman and the board decided what to do.

'So the first thing in my mind was how to get the players' heads around it, getting back together and winning the game on Saturday. Then the next morning I was honoured and grateful to be appointed to the post on a permanent basis.

'I'm absolutely delighted to get the opportunity to manage Charlton, which is essentially my club. Not everybody gets that chance.'

Dowie installed Reed as his number two after arriving at Charlton in May, and has yet to speak with the former Northern Ireland international striker about his sacking.

'It's perhaps not the circumstances I would have preferred to get my opportunity to manage a club at this level, but that's the way it's happened,' Reed told official club.

High-profile managers such as Glenn Hoddle were swiftly linked with the vacancy after Dowie's exit, but Charlton decided to hand to job to Reed, which the new manager believes showed faith in a long-term plan.

Reed said: 'Part of the structure the club put in place catered for a change of manager or anyone within that structure, so stability would remain in place. That, literally, is what has happened.

'As I said there was perhaps a strong assumption that I would be in charge for just a game or two so it was a huge boost in confidence for me from the chairman.

'I think it was the sensible thing to do in terms of there being no doubts or shadows hovering around.'

Charlton chief executive Peter Varney insists Reed is anything but a 'stop gap' replacement.

'We have made it quite clear Les is not a stop gap and Mark [Robson] will be his assistant,' Varney declared. 'The only thing that may change is a new coach might come in at reserve level.

'Les has to lift the players and will be very busy in the next few days.'

Varney added: 'We have asked everyone to trust us. We want Les to take over, but to ask him to give any assurances in a short space of time about value of contracts is impossible.

'We need to look at getting a result at Reading and then we can assess contracts.'

Varney felt the club had no choice but to dismiss former Crystal Palace boss Dowie on Monday night following an unprecedented review of Charlton's set-up despite only recruiting him in the summer.

The two-week review, which took place with Dowie's knowledge, included quizzing players and staff on the club's recent fortunes.

Varney concluded Charlton were certain to be relegated unless the club's hierarchy acted swiftly.

'This is not just about results,' the Addicks chief executive said. 'You hear things internally and you also bear in mind the performances on the pitch and the preparation for matches.

'So we conducted a review into every single aspect of what goes on in the football management side.

'That involved everyone who is part of that and we came to a conclusion things would not improve on the pitch and therefore we had to take the decision we did.'

Varney reflected: 'When Iain arrived in the summer we put together a structure and we wanted everyone in it to be happy it could work.

'But in truth it has not and we had to take a reflection on why it was not working.

'There were aspects of what we set up we were concerned about, but I do not think we have panicked.

'I think we have taken a very considered look at the football side and whether or not we might have won at Wigan, we would probably have come to the same decision.'

Varney admitted Charlton had made a mistake appointing Dowie, who quickly spent more than £10million on new players - and also confessed the promotion of Reed to replace him is a 'gamble'.

The Addicks chief executive also accepted the fact Dowie is being taken to court by Palace chairman Simon Jordan over his switch to The Valley was also a massive problem.

But with Dowie gone, Varney believes Charlton's new management duo of Reed and coach Robson, 37, can save the Addicks from the drop.

He said: 'It is a little bit of a gamble, but we think we have the right mix to get us out of this mess we are in. Les is fully qualified to do the job and we need stability.

'We think the combination of Les and Mark is an ideal one to take the club forward as Mark is a very aggressive, young and up-and-coming coach.'