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Thursday, 18 September 2014

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Charlton boss hoping FA Cup gamble will pay off against Carlisle Utd

Charlton boss Chris Powell admits he is taking a gamble by making changes to his formidable team to face a Carlisle side with a score to settle.

The Addicks manager confirmed he is ready to rest some of his table-topping stars for today’s FA Cup second round clash.

Powell insists he is taking the competition seriously and is determined to get through to the potentially lucrative third round.

But he knows his reshuffled side will face a test against Greg Abbott’s side, who will be out to prove a point after their recent 4-0 hiding at The Valley.

“I would really love us to progress and get a third round draw either home or away which would really test us,” said Powell, whose team are seven points clear at the top of League One.

“I really want us to go through but I also really want to give some game time to two or three to see what they can do against a Carlisle side that will come with their league defeat here in their mind.

“I don’t envisage them making many changes and I want us to more than match them and go through.

“I’m thinking long and hard about the team I name but also about the league programme over Christmas.”

Powell made sweeping changes to his team for their first round tie at FC Halifax and is keen to preserve his top talent for their assault on the League One title.

That means the Charlton boss is likely to rest striker Yann Kermorgant as the big Frenchman recovers from an ankle knock, while leading scorer Bradley Wright-Phillips could also drop down from the starting line-up.

The Addicks manager is also considering switching goalkeepers, with John Sullivan a candidate to replace Ben Hamer, while loanee Leon Cort is set for a rare start in defence.

Scott Wagstaff is also competing for a start with Paul Hayes and Jason Euell the main candidates to come in for Kermorgant and Wright-Phillips.

On Burnley loanee Cort, Powell said: “It’s been really tough to play him because of the way it has gone but he has trained well and hasn’t moaned because he realises the situation we’re in.

“He’s a good player who has just been unfortunate. We’ve got clearance and I’m pleased he’s able to play.”

Loan midfielder Hogan Ephraim has been denied permission to play by parent club QPR.

Charlton have won their last seven games and have only lost three games all season in all competitions.

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