This weekend sees Charlton play host to West Bromwich Albion for the second time in a week and they will surely be eager to avenge the 1-0 loss suffered last time out in their FA Cup 3rd round clash.
A special press conference was called on Thursday afternoon at The Valley, with Lee Bowyer, Steve Gallen and Matt Southall all in attendance as a series of key questions were asked.
With first-team players still unavailable for Bowyer’s side, the Charlton boss was clear about the situation the club have been put in due to the ongoing injury crisis.
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“We’ve had four or five lads under 20 playing against top Championship sides and players, but can they sustain that? That’s the difficult thing, you cant ask them to do that week in, week out,” he said.
“That’s what has been costing us because we’ve got too many people in the side that aren’t ready. That’s not disrespecting them, that’s just the reality of it. They’re not ready.”
However, there is some good news at last for Charlton, with key players in line to return to the bench against West Bromwich Albion.
With a total of fourteen first-team players out for the Addicks’ last league game, it is welcome relief.
“Jake Forster-Caskey will be back on the bench on Saturday alongside Jonny Williams and Tomer Hemed,” Bowyer said.
“These players coming back will only strengthen us and then that’s when we start picking up points.”
Chuks Aneke has resumed training with the rest of the squad, with Josh Cullen and Erhun Oztumer back out running.
Other key talking points were also discussed, with Lee Bowyer’s contract situation, Lyle Taylor, and potential signings being at the top of the agenda.
Chairman Matt Southall revealed what Charlton fans have been keen to hear; Bowyer had been offered an improved deal.
“We’ve seen what Lee said and we’ve taken note of that. He has received an offer this morning and his agent is coming to the game on Saturday, so hopefully we can hammer it out,” Southall said.
“I want to be here for years to come. I love the club and I started as a kid here. Yes, I want to sign a new contract – the sooner the better,” Bowyer added.
The Charlton Chairman also said he wants to keep a hold of Lyle Taylor, after it was reported that the 29-year-old striker turned down an improved offer from the new owners, which was later withdrawn.
“The door is still open. Do I want to sell him? No.”
Newly appointed Director of Football Steve Gallen also stated that talks with potential signings have been ongoing since the beginning of the transfer window.
“We’re trying to bring some players in. We’ve put bids in for three permanent signings in the last week,” the 46-year-old said.