Earlier in the week, Lee Bowyer was handed a touchline ban after admitting a charge of improper conduct and questioning the integrity of a match official as his Charlton side lost to Swansea.
The ban means that he’ll have to sit in the stand for the next three Addicks fixtures when they take on Derby, West Brom and Bristol City.
All three sides pose a tough test, and it’s made matters harder for Charlton to go out and pick up three points as the players won’t have their trusted boss encouraging them on the sidelines for the 90 minutes.
This could turn out to be a much bigger blow than it would for other clubs due to how animated the manager is normally on the touchline. He constantly gives his side directions and makes sure that all of the players are putting in the maximum levels of effort, that’s what makes Bowyer unique.
Will Charlton struggle without Bowyer on the touchline?
The fans will probably be very worried about this little run of fixtures as it’s against three teams who will all have ambitions to be in and around the race for the Premier League. The three game ban starts with Derby on Saturday at the Valley, and the home support now has to play a big part in the Addicks being able to get the three points.
However, the next two fixtures will be far more tricky, especially with no Bowyer on the touchline. They’ll be facing two of the better sides in the division in West Brom and Bristol City, and the slight delay in relaying information from up in the stands could be the difference when playing good sides like those.
Supporters will need to fill the away ends out, and have trust in their players. Addicks fans will know that this next part of the season, really is make or break in terms of what they are looking to achieve in the current campaign.
Obviously, the first thing that fans want is to stay up, but after the start they’ve had, and some of the teams that they’ve beat there’s a real sense of optimism that they could achieve more. If they are to do that, then they have to get through these next three games without Bowyer and still be sitting in the top ten, and the supporters will have to play a massive role in that.