Lee Bowyer was proud of his young team for their performance in the Addicks' narrow 1-0 loss at Swansea City.
Charlton, without 13 first team players, fielded six players aged 20 or below but didn’t stop in a very impressive second half effort.
Speaking after the game the Charlton manager said: “I’m proud of my players. We lost, I hate losing but they can’t do anymore than what they just did out there.
“I feel bad, they’ve given everything. All of those youngsters, they are a credit, a credit to our academy because they’ve just gone out there and played against some top players.
“There are players in that Swansea side that are top players and the kids were fearless. They didn’t hide, they got on the ball, they tried to make the right decisions.”
The Swans scored an early goal through Yann Dhanda and despite creating some good chances in the first half were unable to double their lead.
Bowyer added: “I think second half we took the game to them. I felt we were the better side second half, we created some good chances. On another day we could have perhaps won the game. Over the 90 minutes I thought we had some very good chances from set-pieces, some free headers we had and in open play, we moved the ball well and created problems for them.”
Ben Dempsey and Josh Davison both did well in their full league debuts and Bowyer was quick to praise the veterans that helped all the academy graduates through the game.
“The experienced players helped them through it, the Pratleys, the Pearces, a few warriors helped them through. As a group I’m really pleased with the players.
“Obviously these lads, in an ideal world they’d be out on loan and they were out on loan, playing non-league, they were a few months ago. We’ve had to recall them and now they are getting experience with us. They’re getting that opportunity and they are grabbing it. They’ve done the football club proud. I’m proud of them.”