CHARLTON boss Phil Parkinson is hoping his players can deliver two Christmas crackers for the Addicks.

After a couple of shaky results, Parkinson’s side are aiming to return to form in their back-to-back festive games against two promotion rivals in the shape of Saints – who travel to The Valley on today – and Brighton.

Those are two tough fixtures in anybody’s book but Parkinson believes his side can get back to winning ways after losing their last match 3-1 on penalties to Brentford in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and, prior to that, suffering a 1-0 home league loss to lowly Walsall.

The former Dell trainee said: “We’ll take the Southampton one first, which is equally as big.

“We then go to Brighton and these are the games you want to be involved in.

“We’ll go there and look to give a good account of ourselves and put in a good performance.”

Parkinson admits he is surprised that Saints, the pre-season promotion favourites, go into the Christmas period down in 10th place, albeit just five points adrift of second placed Sheffield Wednesday.

But he is wary of the threat Nigek Adkins’ men pose.

“Everyone said they were clear favourites and it hasn’t quite worked out like that, but we know they’re a big danger,” said the Addicks chief.

“They’ve got some good players, it’s a big club and they’ll be disappointed with where they are.

“Like us all, they’ll be looking to have a good Christmas.”

Parkinson took over at Charlton after the departure of Alan Pardew, to whom he was assistant, in November 2008.

When asked about Pardew’s shock Saints departure earlier this season, he commented: “At the time they had just won 4-0 away at Bristol Rovers so I don’t think it was the results that dictated Alan’s departure.

“There was obviously something which had gone on behind the scenes which is between Alan and the chairman.”

Charlton are set to be missing the injured trio of Akpo Sodje, Chris Solly and Kelly Youga.

But they could recall Johnnie Jackson, Simon Francis and striker Paul Benson, who were rested for the Brentford game.

Marcel Seip is available again after being cup tied.

Charlton hope the game will mark their first post-takeover, which if it goes through will help secure the club’s finances.

“The chairman has kept things away from me so I can concentrate on events at the training ground,” said Parkinson. “I’m pleased with that really, because I don’t need to know who the new owners might be until it’s officially completed.”