Bowyer on fitness of Aneke and Gilbey, impressive Barker and injunction ruling

Lee Bowyer was able to take positives from his team’s EFL Trophy loss to AFC Wimbledon but said he needs to get bodies in to give his side the best chance of competing this season.

A young Charlton team lost 2-1, despite Erhun Oztumer’s opener and the Charlton Manager was particularly pleased with the performance of 17-year-olds Charlie Barker and Aaron Henry. 

He said: “I think there was a lot of positives from the game. The first 45 I thought we were in full control, I couldn’t see them scoring from open play. Obviously the goal straight from kick-off [in the second half] didn’t help and then they just over-powered us a little bit in the second half. We had a lot of youngsters out there. 

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“As a positive I thought young Barker was outstanding, outstanding. He didn’t put a foot wrong all night, in possession and out of possession. He defended properly when crosses came in, goal kicks, competing and fighting. I would say he was the biggest positive. Young Aaron in midfield, apart from that pass [for the Wimbledon equaliser], he tried to do the right thing. They would have learnt a lot tonight. Those two especially I thought were a positive.”

Charlton were without Jonny Williams and Conor Washington on international duty, with Darren Pratley rested and Jason Pearce a long-term absentee.

Bowyer said he hopes Chuks Aneke and Alex Gilbey will train on Thursday and be fit to play a part in Charlton’s Carabao Cup tie with Swindon Town on Saturday but he insisted he needs to add to his squad.

He said: “The goals we conceded were not good enough. Like I said, don’t judge us tonight because we’re weak at the moment. It’s not like we’ve left 11 at home, we have to bring bodies in, you can see that there.”

While the game was going on, His Honour Judge Richard Pearce, sitting in Manchester Civil Justice Centre, ruled against imposing an injunction to prevent the club being sold. Bowyer was asked after the game what he thought of the news, which could give the Thomas Sandgaard the opportunity to purchase the club.

Bowyer said: “I’ve met Thomas and spoken to Thomas and everything he is saying is positive. He seems a really nice man as well, so it’s a good thing but I don’t want to turn my head too quick, I had three owners last season, so I just want someone to come in and stabilise the club and then we go from there.”

Watch Bowyer's full post-game press conference on Valley Pass. Click here to purchase Valley Pass.

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