BY LOUIS MENDEZ
Charlton captain Jason Pearce says the players know that if they don’t meet boss Lee Bowyer’s high standards, they risk spells out of the side.
The Addicks boss showed his ruthless side when he hooked Jonny Williams from Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Shrewsbury, just 23 minutes after he had brought him on as a substitute – saying the Welsh international had pulled out of a challenge and it nearly led to the Shrews goal.
Bowyer had made a similar change recently when striker Omar Bogle was hauled off just 34 minutes into the 4-2 loss at Burton and Pearce said that in his role as captain he makes sure to have a word with players involved in such decisions.
He said: “That’s definitely what I will do, I have done and I will continue to do. I think it’s important if the manager has had a go at someone, or whatever it is, something negative, it’s important that I’m there to help them and pick them up. Make sure they’re alright mentally and they go again. That’s important.
“I’ve been here a while now and I’ve been with Bowyer from the start. He demands a lot from every player. If you’re not up to that level then he takes you off or you don’t play – that’s just the end of it. He’s brought in a lot of players and they’ve hit the ground running to be fair to the boys, they’ve done really well.
“Now it’s about the squad. Using everyone and needing everyone. Jonny, I think might have picked up a little bit of a niggle or hurt his hip. But, he’s his own man the manager and you’ve got to make sure you work hard for him.”
The Addicks had taken a 71st-minute lead at the New Meadow through Ben Watson but dropped two points in added time. Albie Morgan’s sliced clearance and then Chris Gutner’s trip on Dave Edwards led to a spot-kick that was duly converted by Oliver Norburn.
The draw means that Charlton have won just once in the last five league games – in stark contrast to the six wins in a row that preceded them.
“I thought it was a tough game,” admitted Pearce.
“It was always going to be a tough game coming here. New manager, new ideas, a tough place to come. I thought for most parts of the game we held out well. Defensively as a team we did well, they didn’t create many chances. When we take the lead, we need to see it out.
“It’s a really frustrating goal to give away. It was a poor goal. We’re massively disappointed in the changing room. This is two points dropped. I’m trying to keep the boys on it and satisfied. If we get a draw away then we have to win our home game.
“The clearance had been smashed up in the air, we just needed to take a little bit of care with that. He’s managed to get past Gunter and he’s gone down. It’s a frustrating goal to give away, a poor goal. We’ll learn from it, it’s still early in the season and we’ll come back from it, I’m sure.
“They’re a tough team to play against. Defensively, I felt we kept them at bay. They had a bit more possession, they tried to play long balls and we were winning a lot of the first headers. Then they tried to play from there. I think we could have played football better today but they pressed us high and it was difficult. So, we had to try and miss that press out, go into Chuks [Aneke] and Conor [Washington] and try and play from there. It’s a disappointing result, we know we can do better and we will.”
PHOTOS: KYLE ANDREWS
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