Charlton Athletic manager Lee Bowyer has told Marcus Maddison that he will have to work harder if he is going to play regularly for him at The Valley.
Maddison, who joined Charlton as a free agent back in the summer transfer window, was handed his first start for the club in their 1-0 defeat to Plymouth Argyle in the first round of the FA Cup on Saturday afternoon.
The attacker made it through 65 minutes of the game before being substituted, and it seems Bowyer is hoping for more from the 27-year-old in the future.
Offering his assessment of Maddison’s performance after the game, Bowyer was quoted by London News Online as saying: “If I was to use one word, it would be rusty. At times you could see he was trying to do the right thing but it’s just not coming off for him.
“If he wants to play for me he’s going to have to work harder, I know that. I don’t doubt his ability. I know that will come with time.”
With Maddison having played very little football since the summer, it seems Bowyer is now keen to get the attacker up to match fitness as quickly as possible, as he went on to add: “That’s why we had to probably push him a bit today to start. We’ll start him again on Tuesday, hopefully.
“As long as he’s come through this unscathed then he’ll start again Tuesday [against Leyton Orient in the EFL Trophy]. We need to get as many minutes into him, sensibly.
“Get him game time so he can start tidying up on that rustiness that he’s clearly got. You can tell he’s seeing the right things but he just couldn’t make it happen today. That just takes time.”
Explaining what he said to Maddison after the game, Bowyer revealed: “I’ve just said there to Maddison that ‘I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt’ as that was his first minutes for us. Apart from five minutes the other week.
“He’s just come back from an ankle injury and he’s the one exception you can give a bit of leeway to. But not the rest of them. It wasn’t good enough.”
Following Tuesday’s EFL Trophy tie with Orient, are next in action when they travel to Priestfield to take on Gillingham on Saturday 21st November, after the international break.
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I think this is a sensible approach for Bowyer to take.
There is no doubt that Maddison has the ability to make an impact at this level, having previously one so for Peterborough on a regular basis.
However, there have also been questions about his attitude in recent times, and it seems as though Bowyer is making it clear that he will not stand for that, and you can’t imagine he is a manager who is going to back done from that stance.
You imagine therefore, that this should be something of a wake-up call for Maddison, given he may be running out of chances following that underwhelming stint at Hull at the end of last season.