Bowyer honesty refreshing as Charlton’s relegation battles continue


As Charlton prepare to face Wigan on Saturday lunchtime, Lee Bowyer faces the test of rallying his players once more.

It has been another season of twists and turns at Charlton, an experience that Addicks fans have become accustomed to.

But one thing that is never questioned, amongst the ownership uncertainty or Lyle Taylor’s refusal to play, is Bowyer’s commitment to the cause.

In fact, during his press conference, the former England midfielder displays one of his greatest traits, his honesty.

Bowyer holds no punches when criticising players to the press or questioning his team’s display.

Ahead of the huge relegation clash against Paul Cook’s Wigan, who have ownership problems of their own of course, Charlton’s boss explained these concerns.

“It’s difficult because 99% of the other managers are going into work and everything else that isn’t to do with football is dealt with behind the scenes,” he explained.

“That isn’t the case for us or Wigan. There’s been a lot that has happened at our club that is disappointing, but I try and concentrate on what’s happening on the pitch and separate ourselves and we’ve done a good job of that.

“I think it’s very important for every club around the drop zone that you stay up in this division,” added Bowyer.

“You want to play in the highest level you possibly can. At the end of the day, the most important thing for me is to keep this club in the division. We deserve to be in this division, we’re a good club and there is a lot of people that care. That’s what I’m working so hard to try and do. My hands are tied behind my back most of the time, but we’ll keep fighting until the end.”

Staying the Championship is the ultimate goal. Currently, Charlton sit on 47 points just two points above the drop zone. They face a Wigan side on 57 points reduced to 45 if their 12-point deduction is imposed.

Wigan come into the game with the greater confidence. A 8-0 thrashing against Hull one of the stand-out results of the Championship season.

Should they not run riot at The Valley, Wigan should stay patient for their goal. Charlton have conceded seven goals during stoppage time this season, a statistic which loses the Londoners eight points on the Championship table.

The latest in these run of despairing moments came midweek against Birmingham. Lukas Jutkiewicz’s late goal sealed a 1-1 draw at St Andrews and more dropped points for Charlton. 

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Bowyer has been linked with the job at Birmingham after Pep Clotet’s departure but there would be no man happy to see Charlton remain in the division than the former Newcastle and West Ham midfielder.

A win on Saturday could do just that. Three points places pressure onto Luton and Hull, who play later in the day.

They will continue to battle on with a growing injury list that will again force rotations from Bowyer. The injury to Darren Pratley on Wednesday a huge blow in central midfield.

Bowyer is full of belief in his players to get over the line. Despite another year which required one eye on what was occurring behind the scenes rather than on it, Charlton’s manager has guided them into a position where a win on Saturday could achieve their season objective.

He faces a stern test in a Wigan side that are full of confidence despite their own woes off the pitch.

Whatever happens at The Valley, Bowyer will not shirk away from responsibility of the result that unfolds.

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