Lee Bowyer: I was hoping for more positive backing from Charlton fans on return to The Valley

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.

Andrew Shinnie looks to take on Milton Keynes’ skipper Dean Lewington. Kyle Andrews

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.

Charlton’s Omar Bogle challenges David Kasumu for the ball in the air. Kyle Andrews

“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.

Conor Washington tries to beat Milton Keynes goalkeeper Andrew Fisher to the ball on the stretch. Kyle Andrews

“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.”


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