BY LOUIS MENDEZ
Lee Bowyer reckons his decision to play midfielder Darren Pratley at centre-half paid off as Charlton beat Northampton 2-1 at The Valley.
The Addicks boss did have the option to bring natural centre-back Deji Oshilaja into the side with Norwich loanee Akin Famewo rested due to a tight hamstring – but elected to play 35-year-old Pratley alongside Jason Pearce at the heart of the Addicks defence.
The South Londoners were moments away from keeping a third clean sheet on the trot before Northampton struck in added time. Shutouts at Wigan and Oxford were Charlton’s first since early February but Lloyd Jones’ late header for the Cobblers snuffed out the Addicks’ hopes of making it a hat-trick.
But Bowyer was pleased with his side’s overall defensive display and felt Pratley played a big part in that.
When asked why he chose the former Bolton man over Oshilaja, Bowyer said: “Whenever he’s played there for me in the past, I know I can trust him. He doesn’t really put a foot wrong. He reads the game really well, he’s aggressive, he’s comfortable on the ball.
“I knew, bringing him back in there today he wouldn’t let me down. That’s why I put him there. It was the right thing to do, I think, from the performance. We still looked solid as a back four with Ben [Amos] in behind.”
PHOTOS: KYLE ANDREWS
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