Charlton cruised to their sixth victory of the Championship season with a 3-0 success against Derby County at The Valley on Saturday.
Macauley Bonne, Naby Sarr and Conor Gallagher were all on target for the Addicks as they sealed an emphatic win, despite manager Lee Bowyer serving the first game in his three-match touchline ban.
The Charlton boss was forced to watch the game from the stands after being handed the FA charge earlier in the week, but this did not hold back his side as they cruised to victory over the inconsistent Rams.
The result means Bowyer’s side are sitting seventh in the table and they are now just four points off the Championship table after sealing promotion from League One last term.
Here are three things we learned about Charlton from their victory on Saturday…
Lee Bowyer continues to display his impressive tactical nous
Charlton have certainly defied expectation since the start of the season despite the fact they lost a number of important players over the summer including the likes of Joe Aribo, Anfernee Dijksteel and Krystian Bielik.
The South London side brought in a number of players over the summer, but Bowyer has managed to work wonders on the club’s limited budget and this has largely been due to his tactical insight.
The Addicks boss is not afraid to regularly change his tactics depending on the opposition, and this strategy worked again on Saturday despite Bowyer’s absence from the touchline.
He deployed an impressive wing-back system with Jake Foster-Caskey and Chris Solly on the flanks, while Darren Pratley dropped back into defence alongside Tom Lockyer and Naby Sarr. This set-up established a solid base for the Addicks, while also allowing some attacking freedom for the wing-backs.
What can Charlton achieve under Lee Bowyer this term?
Darren Pratley has become one of the first names on the team sheet
Pratley delivered another outstanding performance on Saturday with his form this term having made him one of the most valuable members in this Charlton squad.
His ability to read the game so well means he can deliver equally effective showings in both midfield and defence, while his hard-working attitude means he is always willing to drop back and provide cover.
The victory of Derby showed how he is quickly becoming a key part to the spine of Bowyer’s side, and his experience at this level could well prove vital over the course of the season.
Lyle Taylor and Macauley Bonne could be set to form an exciting strike partnership
Bonne was signed from Leyton Orient over the summer after a prolific season last term, but his performance on Saturday provided evidence that the striker is adapting to life in the Championship quicker than many expected.
He opened the scoring for the Addicks with his third goal in four games during Lyle Taylor’s absence through injury, and the pair now look set to form a hugely menacing partnership when Taylor returns to the side in a matter of weeks.
Taylor often likes to drift out wide to the flanks while Bonne tends to stick with a more central role, so there is every chance the pair could compliment each other nicely when they are finally both named in the starting line-up.