BY LOUIS MENDEZ
Lee Bowyer was pleased with his team’s display as Charlton became the first side to take a point off Cardiff City since the return to action following a goalless draw in south Wales.
The Addicks continued their own good form since the restart as the stalemate made it seven points from nine since the season was resumed following the coronavirus break.
The point means the South Londoners have opened up a four-point cushion above the Championship relegation zone – despite having been floundering in the bottom three just over a week ago.
“It was a well-earned point,” said Bowyer, whose side are now yet to concede in nearly six hours of Championship football after a third consecutive cleansheet.
“At times we looked dangerous, at times they looked dangerous. But a point was fair. There wasn’t really any clearcut chances. We had a couple of half-ones, they had a couple of half-ones. A point was probably fair and I thought we deserved a point. The players gave everything. We fought. It’s a tough place to come and they’re a good, physical side. Don’t forget they’ve just come down from the Premier League. They’ve got good quality, especially in the final third.
“They’re a good side, they’ve got players who can hurt you. They did it against Leeds, not many teams will beat Leeds. And Preston, another good side in this division. We were better first-half. Once we passed it and created overloads, we looked dangerous. They pinned us back a little bit second-half, we just couldn’t hold it up top. We couldn’t get up the pitch. Overall, I’m happy. Not many times you’ll hear me say I’m happy with a point, but I think to get seven out of the first three games is very good.
“They’re putting their bodies on the line and they’re defending properly. When crosses are coming in, they’re marking their men. Three clean sheets – you’ve always got a chance in the game. We had a couple of them in the first-half where we could have nicked it. But the most important thing – a clean sheet, we’ve got a point and we’ll get ready for Friday [against Millwall].”
The three-month enforced break from play had given Bowyer’s injury-ravaged squad the chance to recover – and the Addicks boss says it’s no surprise that results have picked up since he returned to having a full roster to pick from.
He said: “The only reason we are where we are is because of the injuries – plain and simple. When you get double figures, up to 15 injuries for months, it becomes impossible to put a side out to win games. As soon as we’ve got them all back again, it’s not a coincidence that we’re picking up points again. You’ve got people who can play, rest and rotate. You can pick the side that you think will work for that game.
“We didn’t have that for months and that’s why we are not in and around it. I think we could have been in and around it, especially if we kept hold of certain players. Don’t forget, the players that we’ve lost are three of our four top scorers. Lost Connor [Gallagher] who had scored six from midfield, [Jonathan] Leko had scored six and had assists. And you’ve got Lyle [Taylor]. That’s a big part of your attacking force. Then, if you aren’t scoring goals, it becomes difficult to win games.”
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