Charlton boss Lee Bowyer reckons more sides will get dragged into relegation fight – and praises expectant father George Lapslie

BY LOUIS MENDEZ

Charlton boss Lee Bowyer expects more sides to be dragged into the fight to avoid relegation from the Championship this season.

Saturday’s 3-1 win over Luton was his side’s third maximum in their last five outings. But the Hatters, Wigan Athletic and Barnsley – all in the relegation mix-up themselves – have each grabbed a handful of wins themselves recently.

Conversely, Hull City in 17thare winless in eight league outings, whilst 16thplaced Reading have only won once in nine – both sides are in danger of enduring a nervy end to the campaign.

“I was saying to my wife – it’s not just the ones below [who could be in danger],” explained Bowyer.

“The ones above us as well. If we keep picking up points, and Barnsley and Wigan, then someone is losing points somewhere. At the moment it seems to be the ones that are slightly above us. T

“There’s a lot of teams in this scrap. I wouldn’t mind betting that Barnsley have a good end to the season. They seem like they’ve hit some form.

“All we can do is concentrate on our job. We know what we’ve got to do and what we’ve got to get to. That’s all I care about – what we do from now until the end of the season.”

George Lapslie, who revealed after the game that his partner is pregnant, celebrates his first ever league goal. Kyle Andrews

“[The win over Luton is] good for the players and for momentum but we haven’t been in bad form. We lose the odd game but our last seven, eight games, we’re doing OK. We’re putting points on the board. That’s all I can ask.

“The players give me everything and try and win football matches. That’s what we’re doing at the moment. We’re working hard to stay in this division.”

The Addicks boss also heaped praise on expectant father George Lapslie, after the midfielder’s cameo appearance helped to swing Saturday’s game in Charlton’s favour.

The lifelong Charlton fan won the penalty that saw Lyle Taylor restore his side’s lead with half-an-hour to play, before he sealed the victory with his first ever league goal three minutes from time.

“Pleased for George because he has been out for a long time with his hamstring,” said Bowyer.

“He gives you fight and passion. George brings you energy. Willingness and fight. He’s improving in possession as well. I brought him on to do exactly what he did.

“Go and win the ball back and get in the box. I said to him ‘you’ve got license to get in there’. Thankfully he got in there and nicked a goal. That was game over then.”

PHOTOS: KYLE ANDREWS


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