Michael Appleton feels Saturday's match against Bolton Wanderers will be a decent barometer for where his Charlton side are at.
Ian Evatt's side, who earned a play-off finish last season, currently sit fourth in the Sky Bet League One table, six points behind table toppers Portsmouth having played a game less.
“Bolton are arguably one of the best, if not the best, teams in the league in what they do," said Appleton. "It’s a big test and one that I’m really looking forward to.”
“Ian played for me when I was at Blackpool and I’ve watched him come through from his Barrow days to taking the Bolton job. If they don’t finish in the top two, I’ll be amazed if they finish outside the top three. A lot of hard work has gone on and a lot of credit goes to Ian, his staff, the players and everyone at Bolton because they’ve got a style which is easy on the eye.
"From my point of view, it will be interesting to see where we stand right now at this moment and how far away we are from being one of the top, top teams in the league," he continued. "That’ll give us a good indication going forward and there's an opportunity for the boys in the dressing room to show that they’re more than capable of competing with a side like Bolton.”
Appleton admitted Wednesday's open training and signing day at The Valley gave him and his players a lift following a disappointing 3-1 defeat at Lincoln City in midweek.
“We had the open day on Wednesday and I’ve used the phrase a couple of times with staff and some of the fans and the kids that were there - it was almost like therapy for me," explained the Head Coach. "If we’d have been off I probably would’ve been stewing, watching the game back three or four times and feeling sorry for myself before I obviously got in and cracked on with the players.
"It was a good opportunity for me to get a smile back on my face very, very quickly. So many kids turned up with their parents and had an absolutely brilliant day. It was really good seeing the men’s and women’s teams interacting and chatting away. It was a good day all round and that probably gave everyone a bit of a lift after the night before.”