Caretaker boss Lee Bowyer saluted his team’s exceptional work-rate, fight and togetherness after Charlton secured a massive victory at Shrewsbury Town on Tuesday night.
In a must-win match, the Addicks edged ahead through Jason Pearce’s second-half header and, after negotiating over eight minutes of stoppage time, Josh Magennis bagged a second to seal the points.
The win keeps Charlton’s play-off hopes alive and, with the Addicks now sitting fifth in Sky Bet League One, Bowyer wants his side to show more of the same in their final three matches.
“We’re delighted and I think that we thoroughly deserved the win,” he beamed. “The way we stuck together and fought, and every single challenge we went in for we went in to win.
“Our togetherness was great. I know what we can do in possession and I will never doubt how good we are on the ball. I know we can make something out of nothing with the individuals we have. What I have always said since I took over is that I demand that work-rate, togetherness and fight.
“If we didn’t fight tonight, Shrewsbury would have run over the top of us like they did at The Valley.
“That’s what I’ve drummed into the players; if you don’t fight then you won’t win games. We had a lot of young players out there tonight and, for me, they became men. They stood up and no-one has done this to Shrewsbury here. Shrewsbury aren’t pushing for the top two for nothing, so I am delighted.”
Bowyer made six changes to his starting XI and he was full of praise for everyone who took to the field at Montgomery Waters Meadow.
He also, when asked, reserved special praise for goalscorer Magennis and Mark Marshall, who both made their first starts under him in the win.
He said: “I can’t pick a man of the match. That’s the seventh game I’ve been in charge and the fourth time I can’t pick a man of the match. The players are obviously doing something right.
“We have shown that we can fight and we’ll have to do that at times. The players that came in – Marshy and Josh made their first starts under me – their work rate was outstanding.
“They couldn’t have given me anymore and Josh was rewarded at the end with his goal. I wanted Marshy to come in and work his socks off. That’s exactly what he did and he was outstanding.”
Next up, the Addicks face another six-pointer against Portsmouth at Fratton Park on Saturday.
“Portsmouth is a completely different game,” said Bowyer. “It’s a completely different game, and completely different atmosphere but we will be there ready and fighting, for sure.”