Charlton Athletic manager Lee Bowyer has said the remainder of the season will be like a ‘mini-league’, as his side faces relegation from the Championship with nine games to go.
The season started brightly for Charlton. They emerged as dark horses for a top-six spot after their positive start to life back in the Championship, but things quickly went downhill, and now they sit in the 22nd-place of the table.
Finishing in their current position would see Charlton returning to League One after one season back in the second-tier, but Bowyer expects an entertaining conclusion to the campaign.
He told www.cafc.co.uk:
“It’s a mini-league, it’s going to be exciting because every point is going to be valuable. We have to make sure that we are ready. Every game is going to be like a cup final because there are only so many games left. It’s going to be good.”
Bowyer finds himself in a similar position to what he was in when he was appointed as Charlton’s caretaker manager in March 2018.
He came in with ten games to go and in that time he’d be handed the job until the end of the season, guide Charlton to the play-off semi-finals and find himself as the permanent figure going into the next (last) season.
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“It will be similar [to 2018], I hope we get as many points as we did then – we won six,” explained the 43-year-old.
“It will be similar, the only difference will be is how condensed the games will be, as from what I understand it will be Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday-Tuesday until the end of the season.”
One of the main themes of Charlton’s season has been injuries. They’ve boasted the league’s largest injury list for the best part, and Bowyer recognises that he’ll need to utilise his paying staff effectively upon return:
“Preparation and recovery are going to be so important and rotation too. I’m glad we’ve got a full squad because as you know we’ve got players that can’t do Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday, so we’ll have to rotate and we’ll have to use everyone in the squad.”
Charlton have everything to play for when the football resumes. Hopefully that will be next month, and when it happens Charlton will need to make up a two point gap to 21st-placed Hull City.
Failure to do so would result in relegation for the Addicks, but the fans will remain hopeful that Bowyer can emulate the form of his initial Charlton stint, and save the club from an untimely return to League One.