Deji Oshilaja set for centre-back start for Charlton – as boss outlines why he is reluctant to go into transfer market in that area

Deji Oshilaja is set to get his chance to stake a regular starting claim at Charlton Athletic – with the former AFC Wimbledon man expected to start tomorrow’s home game against Accrington.

Addicks boss Lee Bowyer is without Akin Famewo and Ryan Inniss due to injury – with the former the closest to a return but still around a month away.

Darren Pratley had deputised in the centre of the backline but begins a three-match ban for his red card in Saturday’s reverse at Hull City.

Bermondsey-raised Oshilaja, 27, has been on the bench for the last three matches.

The South Londoner’s only action since October 3 was as an 89th-minute sub against Wimbledon, although he has also had time out with a foot injury.

Bowyer is loathe to try and bring in another defender – pointing out they would normally be well stocked in that area.

He said: “The thing is we have four centre-halves but when we lost Ryan we had Deji out and Pearcey out. [Chris] Gunter had a go and Pratley had a go. Pratley had played there last season and slotted in well – he is comfortable on the ball and reads the game well. That’s why I had to keep playing him there.

“But now he’s out and Deji has got the opportunity now and he is back fit. Hopefully Deji will do well – so that when Darren is back he can slot back into midfield.

Charlton Athletic v AFC Wimbledon SkyBet League One, The Valley, 12 December 2020

“We have got four centre-halves and you can’t really carry more than four in your squad. We have got two left-footed ones and two right-footed ones, so we have got good balance. It’s just unfortunate that they have not been able to play continuously.

“If we do bring in a young kid they will have no experience – it’s a gamble.

“We played Akin, who is only young, but he had played men’s football before in Scotland. We knew what we were getting from him. He’s been very good.”


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