By Richard Cawley
Lee Bowyer was left unhappy with Michal Zyro’s performance in last night’s 1-0 defeat to AFC Wimbledon – but admitted it could have been his mistake to give the on-loan Wolves man too many minutes.
The Polish striker has bagged three goals in nine appearances but was badly off the pace at the Cherry Red Records Stadium.
His front partner Stephy Mavididi was taken off in the second half but bringing on Josh Magennis and Nicky Ajose in that period did not rouse the Addicks, who failed to register a shot on target.
Bowyer praised the performance of Lyle Taylor – who scored the only goal – while also criticising his own forwards.
“Their two centre-halves outfought our two strikers,” he said. “You see Taylor – the number 33 – he was backing in, strong and knocking our defenders out of the way. Our centre-halves did well against him but still he didn’t lose the ball and when you do that around the 18-yard box you are going to have shots and create chances.
“Unfortunately our frontmen didn’t do that tonight.
“You have to hold the ball up, that’s what you are there for. You are there to score goals but if we don’t hold the ball up then we don’t get out. It is as simple as that – they get the ball back and they are attacking us.
“That’s what Taylor did and that was the difference tonight, for sure.
“I’m not happy. I’ve told Michal I’m not happy with his performance. He has been outstanding for me but I think his performance tonight wasn’t good enough. I told him. I’ve been honest with him. I will be honest with all of them, I’ll always be honest.
“If they play well, I’ll tell you that you played well. If you play bad, I’ll tell you that you played bad. You’re men and you have to take it. You can’t just take praise and not criticism.”
When it was put to Bowyer that Zyro looked unwilling or unprepared for the battle against a clearly fired-up home side, Bowyer replied: “Everybody knew what they were about – we showed them videos and how physical they are. He should be ready – on Saturday [at Bristol Rovers] they were just as rough. Every centre-half in this league doesn’t play any other way. They are all physical.
“Maybe because he hasn’t played no matches [in the first half of the season] he is physically tired, that could be it. Maybe I shouldn’t have played him 90 minutes on Saturday – but I know he can take a chance. When it comes to him, I know he will finish. Maybe that was my mistake, leaving him on the full 90 minutes.
“In the first three games I was fortunate enough to be able to bring him off with 20 minutes to go, so he was ready for the next game. But when you’re not winning and need a goal to win, you want to keep a striker on who can take a chance.”
Please support your local paper by making a donation
Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.