NIGEL Adkins is “embracing the challenge” of Charlton, as Saints look to win their first game at the London club in more than 20 years.

Not since January 1990 have Saints tasted victory on the road against the Addicks, who they visit tonight for a big League One clash.

And their record at The Valley is even worse, where they are without a win in more than 33 years.

The 4-2 victory on New Year’s Day 1990 came at a time when Charlton were ground sharing with Crystal Palace, at Selhurst Park.

Since moving back to the renovated Valley stadium in December 1992, the Addicks have never lost a home game to Saints.

That run spans nine matches, with three resulting in Charlton wins and six ending in a draw.

The last four meetings between the sides at The Valley have all ended up as stalemates.

Saints’ most recent victory at the ground came in December 1977, when Alan Ball, Phil Boyer and Ted MacDougall netted in a 3-1 win in the old Division Two.

To make the achievement even more impressive, Charlton had been on a 22-match unbeaten run at home going into the game.

And, for those looking for a good omen, Saints went on to win promotion at the end of that season.

Adkins is confident his team can end their barren run at The Valley tonight and boost their current charge for the top two.

“We go there and look forward and embrace the challenge we are going to face,” Adkins said of tonight’s match.

“We have a very honest, hard working, decent group of football boys at this football club who share the common goal who endeavour to do the best they can.

“We want to win this division, we don’t hide away from that fact.”