BY ALESSANDRO SCHIAVONE
John Salako thinks that Charlton manager Lee Boywer has done an ‘incredible’ job in the light of the club’s financial difficulties – but wants to see him backed in the transfer window.
The Addicks started the Championship season in impressive style before a poor run of results after the turn of the year has seen them slip into the drop-zone.
Before the football hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, Charlton looked well off the pace and lost four of their last five games in the league, with their survival hopes now hanging in the balance.
Salako, who had a two-year stint with Charlton between 1999 and 2001, wants to see his former side recruit new players and keep hold of their best talents.
“Lee has done an incredible job, he really has. He is a passionate lad who has done an amazing job with a strict budget.
“When they started the season and they were flying, third or fourth in the table after seven or eight games I thought: ‘ Wow what a great job he is doing’.
“Then slowly it slipped away but Lee needs some reinforcements, he needs some quality players coming in, they have got to spend money. He is in a tough job and it will be disastrous if they go down because League One is a tough place to be.”
Charlton lost the services of Patrick Bauer and Joe Aribo last summer while further salt was rubbed into Bowyer’s wounds when Chelsea surprisingly recalled midfielder Conor Gallagher from his loan spell in January.
“As a manager you always need that little bit of luck because any players that do well are sold,” said Salako. “Charlton can’t just keep selling their best players and hope that the players they bring in are gonna fill that role and do enough.
“Because Lee is a young and new manager, he may be bullied into decisions that he knows aren’t right.
“Lee has been fantastic and turned down some offers and opportunities to move. He really nailed his colours to the mast because he loves Charlton and is throwing everything into it.”
When asked where it all went wrong for Charlton, who haven’t been in the Premier League since 2007, the 51-year old said that it’s anything but easy to rectify the slump once a club drops out of the Premier League.
“Once you starting sliding it’s very difficult to arrest,” said Salako. “Man City did it, Southampton did it, Ipswich, Stoke, Charlton did it. Once you lose your way and go out of the Premier League, often you go down again. The last five or six years have been horrific for Charlton. They dealt with ownership issues that brought little and didn’t have the right investments. Now they need to pull together, get some cohesion and really drive forward – that’s why you really need to have the right people to run a football club”
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