Alan Pardew arrived at Charlton today pledging to stop his old club falling out of the Barclays Premiership.
The former Addicks midfielder was sacked by West Ham a fortnight ago but finds himself back in work after a short break following Les Reed's departure after just 41 days in charge.
Pardew, who is Charlton's third manager of the season, has signed a three-and-a-half year deal and arrived with the south-east London club second from bottom in the table.
He takes on Fulham tomorrow at The Valley in his first game in charge, as his new side look for only their fourth league win of a troubled campaign.
'I was not expecting a quick return, I was going to have a rest for Christmas, which would have been my first for a number of years,' said Pardew, who spent just over three years at Upton Park after previously managing Reading.
'The call came on Sunday morning. I went for the discussion and it snowballed from there. It didn't really take me long to decide.
'I genuinely felt slightly aggrieved at leaving West Ham. The fact that I was moving to a club across the water would have been a problem in any other scenario.
'But Charlton are my old club and it seemed perfect for me because I have great respect for this club. I have gone into three clubs now.
'Reading were bottom of the Second Division, West Ham were eighth in the Championship, and I now I come into a club in better shape than the last two. I have done it before, so now I have to do it again.'
Pardew was one of former Addicks boss Alan Curbishley's first signings when he joined Charlton as a player in 1991.
Back then, the club were beginning an interim stay at Upton Park after leaving Selhurst Park as they prepared for their return to a newly-renovated Valley.
Curbishley went on to enjoy 15 years at Charlton, managing to regain top-flight status for the club, who were also able to stabilise their financial position.
He left in May to herald a rocky era in which Iain Dowie and then Reed failed to keep the Addicks away from the bottom three.
Pardew arrives less than a week before the transfer window re-opens on New Year's Day.
Chief executive Peter Varney admits his new man will not have much to spend, but Pardew is confident he can wheel and deal in the same way he did at West Ham and Reading.
'We have discussed what the board think are one or two issues with the team but that might be different to what I think. I'll have to see what I find,' said Pardew.
'The training today was terrific and the response from the players was as I wanted. We will be better against Fulham than they have been recently.'
Varney insists he had full confidence in Reed before their Carling Cup defeat, and the loss at Middlesbrough, where the players appeared to have stopped fighting for the cause.
'We don't like the position we are in, and changing the managers as we have had to do so,' said Varney.
'We have given Alan a three-and-a-half year a contract and are confident that we have the right man for the job.
'In truth, we sat down with Les. He and the club have parted on the best of terms. We have used the word mutual consent and that's what it was.
'We have a great affection for Les and he has a great affection for the club, which goes back over many years.
'But something had to be done.'