BY LOUIS MENDEZ
Charlton’s Championship survival hopes are back in their own hands after they returned from the enforced break with a 1-0 win at fellow strugglers Hull City.
Jason Pearce’s early header saw the Addicks leapfrog their hosts and jump out of the relegation zone as they held on for the victory at a deserted KCOM Stadium – the first time the South Londoners have played a competitive match behind-closed-doors under the new coronavirus regulations.
Bowyer’s side had fallen into the drop zone following a 1-0 defeat in their final outing before lockdown but will now enter the remaining eight games of the campaign in high spirits.
The Addicks boss said, “The good thing is if you can get off to a winning start, like now, we’re out of the bottom three. Now, it’s in our hands. I believe in the players. I’ve said that all along. Once we get out of there, now it’s down to us.
“We’ve got a week to prepare for QPR. It’s going to be another tough game but another game that we can win if we do the right things. It’s a good start but it’s not over yet. We’ve got to keep fighting for every point and the players did that today. I’m really proud of them.
“I think it was well deserved. From the first whistle we were at it. We looked sharp. This week building up to it, I said to the players that they’ve had a good week and they’re ready to go. They showed that. To get the goal quote early on was nice. I think we settled down after that and got into some very good areas. I thought that on another day we could have maybe scored another two or three goals if the quality was a little bit better in the final third. Picking out the right pass. Clean sheet as well. Very pleased.”
Bowyer and his side, who were able to travel up to Humberside last night before staying locally, had to adapt to the various new procedures put in place to help stop the spread of Covid-19 – with the lack of supporters the most obvious, along with the ability to now make five substitutions rather than three.
“That’s what you have to do, adapt,” added Bowyer.
“We played a couple of games, one at our place and one at Arsenal, just to get them used to it. It is strange. It’s crazy. Normally, in my perspective, if I was to shout something on, then no one can hear apart from the person I’m trying to tell. Now, the next bench to me hear what I’m trying to give as an instruction. That’s something that we have to be careful of. It’s strange times but the most important thing is that we’re back playing and we got off to a winning start.
“You just have to try and think outside the box at times. Obviously the bigger the squad, the stronger the squad, the more beneficial it is to have them five subs. I think ours, the way we used them today, it worked.”
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