Charlton Athletic manager Lee Bowyer has revealed the changes he made at the club when he first took caretaker charge back in 2018.
The 43-year-old had been serving as assistant manager for over eight months when the club officially announced they had parted company with Karl Robinson in March 2018. Bowyer stepped up and took charge of first-team affairs until further notice. At the time, it was his role as a manager.
A total of 107 games later, Bowyer remains in the Charlton hot-seat, with a win percentage of 43%.
Speaking to the Coaches’ Voice, Bowyer reflected on the time he assumed responsibility of first team, revealing that his first task was to instil belief in his players, with making the League One play-offs hanging in the balance.
“My job was to make them believe again. I knew they were good. All I had to do was make them believe that. If they pulled together as one, then that was even better: don’t play as individuals, play as a team,” he said.
QUIZ: Can you identify these 15 Charlton players?
He added that the way he did this was by laying down the law with his players from the get-go, to ensure they knew what was expected of them.
“From day one, I was honest with them: if anyone wants to play as an individual, they won’t play. I’ll only play people who are going to play for the team.”
The 43-year-old said the way he did that was to improve standards on the training field, in terms of intensity and discipline.
“They had to work hard, too. Training became a lot more physical. More intense. I believe that you should train the way you play because you can’t turn it on and off. You can’t think: “I won’t do so much today, but on Saturday I’ll be fine,” he added.
“Everything went up a notch. Standards got better, and we got better. They believed in what we were saying and came together as one. It’s vital that you all believe in the same thing and work hard for each other, because there’s going to be times when someone isn’t doing so well and you have to pull together.”
At the time Bowyer took charge of Charlton, the side were five points off the play-offs with ten games to play.
The Addicks went on to win six of those matches, as they finished inside the top-six. However, the side went on to lose their two legged semi-final against Shrewsbury 2-0 on aggregate to end their promotion hopes that season.
Bowyer was very open and honest here, and the changes he made to how things worked at the club without a doubt influenced the side’s good run of form at the end of the season, which saw Charlton make the play-offs against the odds.
His success at Charlton saw him offered the job on a full-time basis in September 2018, and the rest is history as the Addicks achieved promotion from League One last summer.
However, it is been a difficult first campaign in the Championship for Bowyer as a manager as Charlton sit in the bottom three with nine games to go.