Charlton new boy Marcus Maddison will take a few weeks to get up to full sharpness – Lee Bowyer

BY LOUIS MENDEZ

Marcus Maddison had little chance to shine on his Charlton debut – but boss Lee Bowyer says Addicks fans are in for a treat when the winger gets up to scratch.

The former Peterborough man hasn’t played competitive football for six months due to not being used by previous employers Hull City after the return to Championship football from lockdown at the end of the last season.

The 27-year-old came on for the final six minutes of the goalless draw with Sunderland at The Valley on Saturday. A free-kick he whipped in from the left nearly created an opening for his side and he did superbly to head clear a dangerous set-piece at the other end in the dying stages but didn’t have enough time to further make his mark.

Bowyer says that his best is still to come – warning that even the international break the Addicks head into now won’t be long enough for a return to full match sharpness.

Maddison stands over a set-piece on his Charlton debut. Paul Edwards

“It’s going to take him time,” admitted Bowyer.

“Even these two weeks won’t be enough to get him up to speed. It’ll help but we ain’t going to get him up to speed in two weeks. He’s had no pre-season. A normal pre-season you have five weeks and play five games in that to build your minutes up.

“He’s a long way behind everyone else fitness-wise. I thought I’d drop him on last ten minutes to see if he could pull a bit of magic out but he was a bit rusty. But he will get better for us and he’ll do what he does.

“He will improve. Once he gets fitter. Just a little bit of rustiness there. A couple of times he skipped inside. Watching his clips, he puts in a delivery and as a striker you just have to pull of the shoulder of the centre half and he puts it on a plate for you every time.

“But he under-hit them a couple of times, that’s what’s telling me that he’s a little bit rusty which is understandable. I’m looking forward to getting everyone up to speed fitness wise. Give us a few weeks and we’ll start challenging for real.”

PHOTOS: PAUL EDWARDS


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