While The Valley was empty, Lee Bowyer was clear the fans still played their part in Charlton’s 1-0 win against Queens Park Rangers.
The stadium had supporters’ flags on display and Charlton fans were also invited to be part of the Cardboard End Choir. Bowyer also requested having crowd noise during the game, including some favourite songs of the traditional Covered End Choir.
He explained: “Our fans, the songs, it definitely gets our players going at home. It helps and I wanted to have that. Obviously I don’t want the other bench hearing what instructions we are trying to put out, so it’s trying to find that fine balance. I think the players didn’t want it too loud so they can’t hear each other shouting to each other. It’s something that we tried. I wanted to have the noise from the fans because, even though they aren’t here, they can still play a part and help.”
Bowyer has been clear that for the moment while the Addicks play, he asks that the fans stay away.
“I would like to see the fans back as soon as physically possible,” he said. “I love our fans, they make such a difference for us. Whenever they are allowed to come back, the sooner the better for me but it has to be right and it has to be safe, that’s the most important thing. I don’t want people coming here and there being a chance of them losing their life. We’ve already lost a few important fans of ours, we did a minute’s applause for a few today and it is not nice [to lose them], so yes I want the fans back as soon as they can come back but it has to be the right time.”
Bowyer’s full press conference is available on Valley Pass. A monthly Valley Pass subscription costs £6.50. You can click here to purchase one.