Lee Bowyer was full of praise for his young side after an impressive 3-1 win over Leyton Orient at The Valley.
The Charlton Manager took the opportunity to hand our five debuts for the final game of the Papa John’s Trophy, a competition which the Addicks had already been eliminated from.
Wassim Aouachria, Jay Mingi and Marcus Maddison all found the net as the Addicks brushed aside their opponents at The Valley.
Speaking after the game Bowyer said: “I think there were a lot of positives from the game. First of all, I have to say I thought Orient played well, they moved the ball well. They caused us a few problems early on. We had to adapt a little bit but I think we moved the ball well ourselves, we were very brave. We had a lot of young players out there and people coming back from injury.
"All those young lads I thought did really well and stepped up against a good footballing side. I thought that a lot of them can hold their heads up high."
He was particularly pleased for Aouachria, who has spent more than a year on the sidelines with an ACL injury.
The 20-year-old marked his debut with a goal and Bowyer said: “Wassim, scoring, he’s been out a very long time. I’m pleased for the lad to get a goal. I thought he played really well. I thought he held the ball up well, brought others into the game. The two up top worked really, really hard.”
The Addicks boss also praised Albie Morgan, who had two assists and nearly scored himself but saw a driven effort bounce off the post and away from goal.
“I thought Albie again, is taking a step forward,” Bowyer said. “He was unlucky [not to score], he’s prepared to run beyond the strikers, he hit the post. He lost the ball once in the middle of the park towards the end, it wasn’t even his fault, it took a bad bobble but his reaction was excellent, he chased all the way back to our box and got booked for it, which was harsh as he won the ball clean. He’s doing the right things now and he’s stepping up.
“Aaron Henry did well, a lot of the time. I think he learned a lot today in that game. In the first 10-15 minutes he kept running to the ball, we told him he doesn’t always have to do that and he can move away to create space and he was doing that in the second half. “
Bowyer was also pleased to see Jason Pearce back on the pitch. The Charlton skipper hasn’t played since injuring his knee in pre-season but played the first 45 minutes in the win. Bowyer also revealed Deji Oshilaja is back in training and Alex Gilbey isn’t too far off.
Maddison managed 90 minutes, scoring one and assisting Jay Mingi’s goal. The attacking midfielder hadn’t started a league game since February and hasn’t had a pre-season, so Bowyer was pleased to see him continuing to improved.
He said: “I think he looked better today. He worked harder, which is good – he’s going to definitely benefit from having 90 minutes into him, which wasn’t the plan but young Vennings had to come off.
“The lad hasn’t had a pre-season, so he’s going to be rusty and he’s had a couple of ankle injuries. You see the bits of quality he does have, the balls into the box were a lot better than Saturday but still not quite to his level that we all know he can get to. That’s a good thing that he’s moving in the right direction. He was one that lost the ball and reacted in the right way.”
The Addicks will now take advantage of the international break before returning to action next weekend against Gillingham.
The manager's full press conference is available below for Valley Pass subscribers and supporters who purchased the live stream of the game.