Curbs warning for Rommedahl
27 July 2005 | ©football365.com
Charlton boss Alan Curbishley has warned Danish winger Dennis Rommedahl that he is under severe pressure to perform this season.
Rommedahl turned in an eye-catching display at Loftus Road on Tuesday night as Charlton, with a hat-trick from England Under-21 striker Darren Bent, cruised to a 3-0 win over QPR.
But Curbishley has strengthened his midfield options during the summer with the signings of Darren Ambrose and Alexei Smertin and Charlton are still being linked with a move for Lee Bowyer - all of which leaves Rommedahl with a tough battle on his hands for regular first-team football.
"Denis was very up and down last year and never managed to establish himself. He's come back to pre-season a lot fitter and a lot sharper but he's got competition," said Curbishley.
"Ambrose can play there, we've got the young boy Lloyd Sam who can definitely play there and is desperate for a chance. Jerome Thomas can play there too, so there's a bit of rivalry and a lot of competition in that midfield area.
"Dennis has to respond because if he doesn't someone will take his place. I've brought Ambrose in and Lloyd is desperate for a chance."
Rommedahl, enjoying a free role as part of an experimental five-man Charlton midfield, was involved in Bent's first strike and was then denied a goal of his own when Rangers' on-trial keeper Wayne Henderson pulled off a brilliant reaction save.
Curbishley is unlikely to start with five across the middle for most games in the Barclays Premiership - he just wanted to see how Bent coped on his own up front.
And his new signing from Ipswich answered those queries with a hat-trick.
"He's never played up there on his own so I wanted to have a look to see if he could. Although I know Darren likes to play with someone up there to take the load off him a little bit, I think he showed us what he's about," said Curbishley.
"He was very sharp. He's very direct when he has to be, unselfish on other occasions. He'll pass it if someone's in a better position and he took his goals very well."
Curbishley has brought in seven new faces and is still in the market for more, though whether Bowyer will make his return to The Valley is up in the air.
"I know if Lee was to leave Newcastle I think he would like to come back to London but that has not been a secret. We will have to see and the transfer market has a domino effect and there has not been much so far," said Curbishley.
"We have done a bit of business and I am very pleased but if I can do a bit more I will."