Lee Bowyer was full of praise for the Charlton faithful who willed their team to a dramatic 2-1 win at home to Plymouth Argyle.
Karlan Grant scored twice as the Addicks came back from 1-0 down and while they controlled much of the game, with 23 shots and 16 corners, it wasn’t until the 88th minute that the 21-year-old netted the Charlton winner.
Bowyer’s team never gave up though and he attributed that to the fans at The Valley.
He said: “Our fans were outstanding again today from the first minute until the end. I know I keep saying it but it makes a difference, we scored another late goal but we are this season, we just keep going and going and that’s a credit to the fans and the lads. They just keep going until the end.
“You’re (the fans) pushing and pushing and geeing them (the players) on and they (the players) just keep going and going. That will always happen. We have a great bunch of lads in there and the fans can play a massive part this season and they are definitely doing that so far.
“All fans want, and I said this to the lads, is for you to give 100 per cent as a player. You give 100 per cent effort, then anything else after that is a bonus. So if they see Karlan running around closing down, fighting to hold the ball up, that’s all I ask but then if you score that’s a bonus. That’s why they are cheering the side on like they are. They know that they are all giving the fans 100 per cent every time they step onto that pitch. It’s not rocket science, there is no special cure, it’s just hard work and that’s what I demand from them. They have to give me that at least.
“The fans have been like that from day one with me. We lost against Peterborough and they still clapped then like they did today because they know what they are giving. You give them 100 per cent that’s all they ask and that’s definitely what the lads are giving.”
As well as the fans Bowyer was also very pleased with his team.
He said: “I think we’re better than them (the other teams at the top of the table). I see what we do every day. The way we’ve just performed out there, the way we’ve moved the ball and kept the ball. There are not many teams in this league that do that, I’ve not come across one yet that has just done what we’ve done out there. Like I said before, it’s not that we just play, we compete and fight for each other. The togetherness that I see in there, I just said to them it’s unique, you don’t get this at every club so enjoy it because I believe in them and now they are starting to believe in themselves.
“My job is to persuade them how good they are. Ok we haven’t got a massive squad but they are all good players and they all bring something different. I think Ben Reeves, that’s his first 90 minutes, he looked a bit tired but I said to Jacko ‘He looks tired but he’s the one that can make something happen’. Joe Aribo, all over the place, he was up and down, he was outstanding. The midfield all did well. Josh (Cullen) getting on the ball making us play from the back, I think we were excellent. We’re in a good place, I said to them ‘You keep doing this, there is only one place we are ending up at the end of the season’.”
Bowyer also reserved praise for the travelling Pilgrams. He said: “How many last ditch tackles did they make? And blocks? I have to hold my hands up. I don’t know why Plymouth are down there where they are because they are a good side. It’s just a matter of time before they start winning games. I have to respect them and their manager. They came here and they could have easily tried to shut up shop and defend but they came to play. They had an attacking starting 11 which surprised me. I’ve the the upmost respect for them and their manager. They brought a good crowd, their fans should be proud of their team today, just like ours are.”