BY LOUIS MENDEZ
Charlton boss Lee Bowyer says he told his side not to panic despite going into the interval trailing during the London derby victory against AFC Wimbledon.
The Addicks had taken the lead just eight minutes before the break through Conor Washington but a quickfire Dons double from Joe Pigott and Daniel Csoka meant the visitors were ahead at half-time.
But a four-goal blitz in the second-half – with strikes from Jake Forster-Caskey and substitutes Jonny Williams, Chuks Aneke and Ben Purrington – saw the Addicks claim their first win in three games.
It’s the first time Charlton have scored five in a league game since a 5-1 win at Bristol Rovers in 2016 and the first five-goal league haul at The Valley since the 5-4 win over Cardiff in 2012.
Bowyer, whose side came into this game on the back of a couple of disappointing displays, said he had seen enough from his team before the Wombles’ two goals to suggest they could turn the game around.
“There was no reason to panic,” Bowyer explained.
“I believed that we would turn it around and once we scored we would go on to win the game. I thought it was very good today. We had a bit of everything. Scored some good goals, stuff that we’d worked on during the week. That’s two games in a row now where we’ve been able to score goals from stuff we’re working on at the training ground. It’s really pleasing for us as coaches.
“It was all calm in the dressing room at half-time. If you start ranting and raving because you’re going to judge them on the last five minutes then that negativity will then go into them. There was no reason for that. We did well first 40, so just stay positive and then our positive energy as coaches will rub off on them. They know little lapses in concentration cost us but they also knew they were good for the first 40 of it.
“I thought from start to finish we were very good. Apart from a five-minute lack of concentration. We dropped our level for five minutes at the end of the first-half and they went bang-bang and scored two goals from nowhere. The first 40 minutes was probably the most comfortable that I’ve felt. Overall, I said to them at half-time, ‘just do what you’re doing.’”
The Addicks boss also had special praise for the 2,000 supporters who were able to see their side win in the flesh for the first time since the 3-1 home triumph over Luton Town in February, before the coronavirus pandemic took hold.
“[The atmosphere] was outstanding. The team performed well and the fans performed well. As a group, we all performed well together. They recognised, as they always do, when they need a little pick me up the players and they kept doing that again today. I want to thank them as well, for their support and their patience today.
“They had to be patient today at times, we had to pass it across the back from side to side. Thank you to everyone to came and kept singing and getting behind the players as it does back a big difference and you just witnessed that again.”
PHOTOS: KYLE ANDREWS/ KEITH GILLARD
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