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31-y/o will know he has his work cut out if he is to break into fiersome Charlton Athletic unit

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Charlton Athletic have undoubtedly been the surprise package in the Championship this season.

Upon their promotion from League One, the Addicks were understandably made immediate favourites to go straight back down, given their off-field issues and general squad depths.

But Lee Bowyer has spent his entire managerial career proving people wrong and that is just what he is doing again, with his side sat in seventh place with 12 matches played in the second tier.

Last weekend saw them bounce back to winning ways in emphatic style as well, beating last season’s play-off finalists Derby County 3-0 at The Valley as ther continued to upset the applecart.

Will Charlton Athletic make the Championship play-offs this season?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Away from the main protagonists of the win, there was a notable moment in the final 15 minutes of proceedings, when summer signing Beram Kayal came off the bench.

Signed on a season-long loan from Brighton in the summer, Kayal was supposed to be the experienced midfield marshall, whose streetwise ways would help sheppard the Addicks to survival.

But, prior to Saturday, he had made just one appearance – a 12 minute cameo against Birmingham City – before picking up an infuriating injury which kept him out of action for the subsequent four matches.

However, he appears to be returning to full fitness and could well prove to be a crucial cog in the Charlton machine yet.

He will be under no illusions of the task facing him to break back into the starting XI though.

Despite losing Joe Aribo and Krystian Bielik in the summer, Lee Bowyer has still managed to assemble one of the most impressive midfield units in the second tier.

Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher is the jewell in the crown, scoring six times already, whilst Jonny Williams and Josh Cullen offer plenty of energy and creativity, with Darren Pratley holding the fort at the base.

Kayal will therefore know he has his work cut out. He will need to do an awful lot to break into this unit but you can bet he will be willing to do that.

Whilst his return to fitness may prove a minor concern to those in the starting XI, for the fans, it will prove to be just another boost in an ever exciting season.

ScoopDragon Football News Network