Bowyer: "We'll have to fight and compete"

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s clash with Gillingham at The Valley, Lee Bowyer insisted that his side will have to be at their fighting best if they are to pick up all three points.

Speaking in his weekly pre-match press conference via Zoom, the Addicks manager discussed the challenge posed by Steve Evans’ men and how they must stand up to the physical challenge.

“Gillingham play in a certain way so we’ll have to fight and compete,” he explained.

“It might not be pretty at times. But when we win that ball, we have to do the right things. We’ll also have to defend our box well. They will pepper the box with long balls and throws.”

“You have to do the basics first & earn the right to play football,” continued Bowyer.

“At times, we’ve been too soft. You can’t turn up & think you’ll win. Games aren’t won from names on a teamsheet.”

After an impressive showing in the 2-0 victory at Rochdale last weekend, the boss believes his side have turned a corner and expects a run of results to put Charlton firmly in a promotion push.

“We’ve done the basics well lately and turned a bit of a corner and I believe we’ll go on a run,” said Bowyer.

“We have to win these games if we want to close in and be amongst it in a month’s time. All the other teams have to play midweek to catch up games and they’ve been dropping points and that will happen.

“We’ve dropped too many points at The Valley. Normally that’s where we’re strong. There are no fans, but that’s no excuse. It’s something we have to address.

“I know we’ve got a good group and now we have to put it all together and win games.”

Meanwhile, Bowyer provided another injury update after Akin Famewo completed 62 minutes on his return from injury for the U23s on Tuesday afternoon.

“Akin came through the U23S ok. He’s a bit rusty, but all good,” he said.

“We’ll take a look at him. I don’t want to just chuck him in the deep end, he needs to be ready.”

“Jake [Forster-Caskey] had a scan but it's all clear,” added Bowyer.

“He’s played a lot of games and is playing well, but he didn’t train on Tuesday. I’ll have to see how he is. We have to look at the bigger picture sometimes & trust the players, because they know their bodies better than anyone.

“In an ideal world, we played well on Saturday so you don’t make too many changes. Jake has been a positive for us, but we have to look at the bigger picture and look after the players best we can, even if it might weaken us.”

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