Charlton boss Lee Bowyer was either being modest on Thursday morning or he really rates Addicks new boy Josh Cullen.
Bowyer was an England international, made nearly 400 Premier League appearances and was a crucial player in Leeds United’s Champions League run in 2001 but when asked in Thursday's press conference if West Ham loanee Cullen was in his mould he replied with a smile: “He’s better than I was [at that age]. He’s a good player and I think you saw that at Southend, his first game. I think he did well but I know he’s going to do better. Southend is a tough place to go, a small pitch, very physical so he came through the game very well.”
Cullen played a crucial role in the winning goal that day and Bowyer is clearly happy to have the Republic of Ireland U21s captain with him this season after a long pursuit over the summer.
He said: “I was delighted [to sign him] because he was someone that we had to bide our time with. I know what qualities he brings to the squad. He’s got to the play-off final with Bradford, I know he’s got the experience and he’s a young lad that can play football and gets into the box. He’s an all-around midfielder.
“He’s someone we thought there was an outside chance of coming here but there was a chance of him going to the Championship, we knew that as he was at Bolton last season. He’s here now and he’s improved our squad.”
The 22-year-old played twice for the Republic of Ireland U21s last week and Bowyer hinted that this may impact his availability for Saturday’s visit to his old team Bradford City.
The full press conference with Lee Bowyer is available on Valley Pass.