Charlton Athletic manager Lee Bowyer has criticised his players for their performance levels after his side crashed out of the Carabao Cup to League Two minnows Forest Green Rovers on penalties.
The 42-year-old made 11 changes from the team which secured a 3-1 victory over Stoke City last Saturday, with the likes of Sam Field and Macauley Bonne getting their first taste of competitive action since joining the Addicks.
Despite dominating vast sways of possession at The Valley, Charlton were unable to find the back of the net as they struggled to break down a resilient Forest Green side.
Whereas the Addicks were awarded a penalty in the second-half of the Carabao Cup clash, Jake Forster-Casey saw his effort saved by Joe Wollacott.
With the clash ending in a 0-0 draw after 90 minutes, the visitors secured an unlikely victory as they scored all five of their spot-kicks in the resulting shootout to knock-out Charlton, who missed two of their penalties.
Speaking to London News Online after Tuesday’s game about his players, Bowyer said: “Ben [Amos] did well and I think Naby [Sarr] done well.
“They are probably the two who can look me in the eye and say they did well – the rest I don’t think did well enough.
“I have got players in the squad and healthy competition for places, so when the lads who didn’t get an opportunity on Saturday get one tonight I want them to have the attitude ‘I’m going to be the best player on the park and show I want to play on Saturday’.
“I want them to grab those opportunities – for one reason or another too many didn’t do that.
“That’s the disappointing thing for me.
“I want to win every game, nothing ever changes there, but a lot of the younger lads were just sloppy.
“Real, real sloppy in possession and didn’t take care of basic things.
“I looked at them and they didn’t even seem bothered if they gave the ball away.
“That is just frustrating.”
Having kicked off the 2019/20 campaign in superb style by winning both of their Championship games, it is not at all surprising that Bowyer is angry at his players for not being able to maintain Charlton’s unbeaten run.
Whereas making so many changes to his squad was a huge risk to take, the Addicks boss would have had confidence in the abilities of those selected and thus this result would have been a shock to the system.
Such was the lack of quality on show by Charlton, Bowyer may now be exploring the option of loaning out some of the players who were involved against Forest Green as it is clear that he can ill-afford to be carrying any passengers if his side are to achieve success in the second-tier this season.