Gary Haines reports
Charlton have sealed a loan switch for Queens Park Rangers striker Rob Hulse, the club announced on Monday afternoon.
The 32-year-old moves across London after the clubs agreed a three-month deal, and he goes straight into the squad for Tuesday night’s Championship game at home to Watford (7.45pm).
Hulse, who will wear squad number 29, will offer Chris Powell valuable frontline experience in the absence of Yann Kermorgant, who last week had ankle surgery and will be out for around three months.
“I’m really pleased to have Rob on board and look forward to working with him,” said Powell, in conversation with CAFC Player
“With the squad we have, we do have one or two players that have played at this level before - and a couple have played Premier League football - and you do need to have that Championship know-how week in, week out. Rob will give us that.
“He’s done well at this level before and I think he will show people that he’s a good player and we know that he comes here with maybe a point to prove to people. He just comes in and will work hard and I’m sure he will do well.
“He bolsters our attacking options, where we were a bit light,” added Powell. “We have lost Yann long-term, and Rob will give us that strength and that Championship know-how and experience up top.
“We’ve lost Danny Haynes, and young Michael Smith, who has been on the bench and on the fringes, is someone we’ve always wanted to get out to get experience, but of course I couldn’t do that until I managed to get someone in.
“So Rob comes in now and he’s got good pedigree. Things haven’t worked out for him at QPR, but he’s here for three months and I’m sure he will do very well here, enhance our squad and remind people that he’s a good player. We’ve seen him recently and I really hope he comes in and does well for us.”
A former Crewe Alexandra youth graduate, Hulse boasts Championship experience having helped QPR to the title two seasons ago, but he featured just three times for the West Londoners last season and was recently left out of Rangers’ 25-man Premier League squad.
Hulse moved from Crewe to West Bromwich Albion and has also played for Leeds United, Sheffield United Derby County, all of whom paid seven-figure sums for his services.
In 24 outings for Rangers, he has netted two goals while he has picked up player of the year accolades at four of his former clubs, including receiving the trophy from a certain Chris Powell when at Derby County.
That came ahead of a league match with the Addicks, and he netted the winner that afternoon in a 1-0 win.
His spell starts with the aforementioned home match with Watford on Tuesday, and coincidentally takes him up to, and including the January rematch against the Hornets at Vicarage Road on January 1st, 2013.
The striker said: “My career has been a bit stop-start for the past year and I’m looking forward to getting it back on track now with Charlton.
“I’ve met Chris Powell a couple of times and look forward to working with him. He’s an up-and-coming manager who I’ve heard lots of good things about, so it’s nice to be here.”
It’s been a busy weekend for Powell, with the Valley boss also recruiting midfielder Abdul Razak on loan from Manchester City until the end of the year.
He has also snapped up James Ashton on a season-long loan from Chelsea, with the young midfielder likely to supplement Nathan Jones’ U21 squad.
And Powell said: “The true measure of any team is the depth in the squad - it always is.
“I do have some good young players here, but I think sometimes you need to have that strength and have the quality and know-how, and it will improve everyone.
“When you have new players coming in, sometimes that adds another dimension to it all. They want to do well because they want to impress their new teammates, the management and, of course, the supporters.
“We have been hurt with the injuries, that’s a fact, and when we lost Ricardo, we looked quite threadbare,” added Powell.
“Bradley [Wright-Phillips] has played at this level and scored goals, but then we had young Smudger [Michael Smith], Jordan Cook and Waggy [Scott Wagstaff] and a couple of them got injured.
“Smudger only made his full debut against Leyton Orient this season. I just felt we needed to do something and do something quick, and I’m really pleased that the club has allowed me to do that.”
Powell also recalled presenting Hulse’s player of the year trophy at Pride Park on April 25th, 2009 – the day after he lifted the League One trophy for the first time.
“I’d forgotten all about that,” he smiled. “The previous night I played for Leicester against Scunthorpe and, in another link, Michael Morrison scored both goals and we got awarded the League One championship.
“I drove up to Pride Park being a previous player of the year recipient and they asked if I could present it to that year’s winner, who was Rob.
“I’d be happy if we present him with something this year if he goes on his exploits and does well for us. I’m looking forward to working with him.”