Charlton boss Lee Bowyer expecting good reception from Birmingham City – Blues are first former club he has faced in management

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Lee Bowyer is expecting a good reception from travelling Birmingham City fans tomorrow – the first time that he has faced a former club since moving into management.

The 42-year-old spent more than two seasons with the Midlands outfit and was part of the Blues side which won the League Cup in 2011.

“It’s going to be strange,” said Bowyer. “I have not been back there since I left, but I left on good terms.

“I like to think the fans will be kind to me. I gave everything every game I was there, so there is no reason not to.

“They are a good club. I had a good experience with them at Wembley as well. At the end of the day it is three points – that’s all I’m thinking off, not the reception or anything like that.

“I went there on loan. [Gianfranco] Zola said I could go out on loan from West Ham and they [Birmingham] were pushing for promotion. I went there for the last six months [of the 2008-09 season] and we got promoted.

“I scored on my debut [a 1-1 draw with Cardiff. Alex McLeish liked what I brought to the team and kept me for the next couple of years.

‘It was towards the end of my career. They are the only club I won anything with, the winners medal will be in my house.”

Bowyer might have that silverware but during a stellar career at the top of the English game he did not collect the shirts of opposing players.

“I wasn’t really like that,” he said. “My mates used to ring me up and say: ‘You’re playing these – get this one’s shirt or that one’s shirt’.

“But I used to just turn up and play. It wasn’t who I was playing against, I was never that way. I was just purely focused on winning. That was it. My whole life I have just been like that. Winning is everything to me – getting someone’s shirt is nothing.”

Charlton welcome back their international players ahead of tomorrow’s match.

Josh Cullen was voted man of the match on Tuesday night – making his senior bow for Republic of Ireland in their 3-1 friendly win over Bulgaria in Dublin on Tuesday.

Jonny Williams also impressed for Wales a day earlier. He started their 1-0 friendly victory over Belarus.

Beram Kayal came on in Israel’s 3-2 loss in Slovenia on Monday in a European Championship qualifier.

Conor Gallagher and Jonathan Leko were unused subs as England U20s beat Switzerland 1-0 in St Jakob.

 


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