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Last Updated: Friday, 9 June 2006, 06:11 GMT 07:11 UK
Reed upbeat over Charlton future
By Richard Hookham

Les Reed
Reed has rejoined Charlton to become Dowie's new assistant
The furore over Iain Dowie's appointment as new Charlton manager overshadowed the fundamental changes facing the club.

Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan was incandescent with rage at Dowie's switch from Selhurst Park to The Valley.

And perhaps, amid the hype and controversy, the huge significance of the changing of the guard in SE7 was lost in the wake of claim and counter-claim between Jordan and his former employee.

Because, while ushering in a new era under Dowie, Charlton were, in theory, bidding a fond farewell to enviable stability in the shape of departing boss Alan Curbishley.

During his 15-year tenure, Curbishley cemented the foundations of the archetypal model of the second-tier Premiership club, building hard-to-beat, yet entertaining teams on relatively small budgets.

But Curbishley has now departed and Charlton chairman Richard Murray has entrusted the club's future to one of England's new crop of dynamic homegrown coaches.

It's not a surprise about Iain Dowie. He is a fantastic student of the game
Les Reed

"It's not a surprise about Iain Dowie. He is a great coach and a fantastic student of the game," said Les Reed, who Charlton have recruited to be his assistant.

"They've done well to appoint one of the best young managers in the country," he told BBC Sport.

Of course that's exactly what you would expect a number two to say about his new boss, but Reed has already earned the respect of Dowie as his coaching tutor.

And he will be his trusted aid in the same way long-serving Keith Peacock was to Curbishley.

Peacock had another year to run on his contract, but following Curbishley's decision to step down, he believed it right to follow suit and allow the incoming management team to start from scratch.

Reed, meanwhile, certainly has the credentials to comment on Dowie's coaching capabilities.

The former FA acting technical director and coaching guru has helped a host of the country's top managers to pass their pro-licence tests, including the new Charlton boss.

"I mentored Iain during his coaching development and it's great to be back at Charlton and have the chance to work alongside him," said Reed.

"We get on very well and it's rare to get that chemisty with someone you work with so closely."

Reed is returning to Charlton having worked under Curbishley for three years in the mid-1990s. He moved to the FA in June 1998 to work with Howard Wilkinson, who he replaced as technical director in 2002.

Charlton manager Iain Dowie
Dowie led Palace to promotion in 2004, but relegation in 2005

Since leaving Soho Square in May 2004 he has been coaching in a consultancy capacity.

"Charlton is the ideal job for me. The right time, the right job and the right manager to work with," Reed said.

"It ticks all the right boxes and feels like I'm coming home."

So what can Charlton fans expect from the new regime? Can Dowie continue the Curbishley success story and take the club forward?

"The supporters no longer just accept Premiership survival here," admitted Reed.

"Thanks to Alan it is an established top-flight club reknowned for producing attractive, fast-paced football.

"Don't get me wrong, there's no point playing nice, pretty passing patterns if we are going to lose every week, but we have a responsibility to entertain.

"The fans have been patient and now want to see some silverware, perhaps even a European place.

"Both Iain and I are very target-orientated and we will set certain levels the players will need to reach."

Dowie has already started mapping out his squad for the new season and released striker Jay Bothroyd and defender Chris Perry shortly after getting his feet under Curbishley's old desk.

It is inevitable that some players will go and new ones come in

Charlton assistant boss Les Reed

Reed expects to see some new faces by the time the Premiership campaign kicks off in early August and the transfer window closes.

"The chairman has already gone on record to say there is some money available and it is inevitable that some players will go and new ones come in," he said.

"We've already sat down and worked out where we need to stengthen and the priority is numbers as well as quality.

"In recent years, Alan suffered badly with injuries at the end of the season which saw the club fall away. We need to build up the squad to ensure we can prevent that happening again.

"As for Iain, I am personally delighted for him. He was one of the best coaching students I ever worked with. He's intelligent, articulate and has some excellent ideas.

"He likes to set high standards and will definitely be the boss. But like Curbs, Iain is also has a great way with the players and creates a good working atmosphere.

"I really feel the club can move forward under him and we're very optimistic about what we can achieve."

Charlton unveil Dowie as new boss
30 May 06 |  Charlton Athletic
Palace take action against Dowie
30 May 06 |  Crystal Palace
Boss Dowie leaves post at Palace
22 May 06 |  Crystal Palace
Reed parts company with FA
19 May 04 |  Football


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