Charlton Athletic boss Lee Bowyer has explained why he didn’t bring on midfielder Erhun Oztumer in his side’s derby loss to Millwall, saying the 28-year-old would’ve got ‘swallowed up in it.’
A 2-1 loss at The Den before the international break meant Charlton go into it with just one win in seven, sitting 11th in the Championship table – six points off Bristol City in 6th.
Shaun Hutchinson had given Millwall an early lead that day but Jonathan Leko equalised soon after the restart.
Matt Smith came off the bench and headed home an injury-time winner for Gary Rowett, condemning the Addicks to their sixth league defeat of the campaign.
Bowyer had an unused substitute that day but chose not to use it – a lot of fans feel that attacking-midfielder Oztumer should’ve been introduced in the second-half.
Speaking to London News Online on why he didn’t bring on Oztumer at Millwall, Bowyer said:
“The physicality of it would’ve been difficult for him. It wouldn’t have been fair to chuck him on with 15 minutes to go – he probably would’ve got swallowed up in it.
“It is different if you have got Jonny Williams, Lyle Taylor and Chuks Aneke on the pitch with Macauley Bonne and Tomer Hemed on the bench. Then you’ve got a bit of physicality that you can put on, they can handle it.
“I look at West Brom and they are bringing people off the bench who are scoring and turning games around. I’ve seen the same at other teams. At this moment in time, we’ve not got that option due to injuries – Oztumer doesn’t have the physicality, he’s more of a ball-player.”
Should Bowyer have brought on Oztumer against Millwall?
Seeing this may not do Oztumer’s confidence a world of good, but Bowyer knows best and perhaps a cagey final 15 at The Den would’ve been a bit too much for Oztumer.
Born in England to Turkish descent, Oztumer has made just five appearances for Charlton this season since leaving Bolton in the summer.
He’s a talented player but he’s in a team of them at Charlton, and will have to really up his game if he wants to get in ahead of the likes of Conor Gallagher in the near future.