Lee Bowyer wanted Charlton Athletic fans to be “more positive” on their return to The Valley – as 2,000 of them saw their side lose 1-0 to Milton Keynes tonight.
The Addicks were allowed severely reduced numbers inside the stadium as government restrictions eased today over attending matches.
But Scott Fraser scored in the second period to earn the visitors a deserved three points.
Asked about the return of supporters, Bowyer said: “I’m pleased to see them back in – I would have liked it to have been a bit more positive from the fans.
“They’ve been away so long, I’d rather they get behind the team and try and get them going. Because they played a hard game on Saturday against Ipswich and when we play at home we need those fans to be positive and pick the lads up when it’s not going so well.
“That’s what I’d rather have happened tonight. But I’m glad they are back in – because we’ve missed them. I just wish they were a little more vocal tonight, in helping the lads.
“I’ve just said to them in there, if you can’t play in front of 2,000 then stop the game now. Because this stadium will be full again – 2,000 is not a big amount of people, so you shouldn’t get nervous and doing the wrong thing or hiding from the ball. None of them did that.
“I don’t believe [the crowd] made a difference.
“We’ve been wanting them to come back from day one and they’ve been kept away. Even though it was 2,000 I expected non-stop singing, supporting the players and pushing them. But it wasn’t like that.
“It was very, very quiet apart from some negative shouting – and I didn’t expect that tonight.
“Listen, the players didn’t really do too much to get people on their feet – but sometimes they need a bit of help, and that’s what our fans are great at.
“It wasn’t what I expected, because we don’t stop singing normally. And there wasn’t much singing at all, from start to finish, tonight.”
PHOTOS: KYLE ANDREWS
Please support your local paper by making a donation
Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.