BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Lee Bowyer is a hard manager to please – but Charlton Athletic captain Jason Pearce wouldn’t have it any other way.
The Addicks head to Luton Town tomorrow looking for a fifth straight League One win.
And Pearce, who won the division with Wigan Athletic in 2016, reckons that Bowyer’s demands are paying dividends.
“We won at Bradford and I came into the dressing room delighted with the win and he wasn’t happy with the performance,” said the 30-year-old centre-back.
“He was pleased with the win but knew we can do better as a team.
His standards for what he wants are so high, he expects so much from us. We have debriefs on what he expects and that approach seems to be working.
“We’re all behind the manager, him and John [Johnnie Jackson, assistant manager]. Bow and John have been right on us in training, as well as the fitness guys – to make sure we keep standards high.
We take those standards onto the pitch.”
The Charlton side went paintballing on Monday. And there was plenty of laughing and joking when they were at The Valley on Tuesday for the team photo.
There seems to be a camaraderie which has been lacking at certain times – especially when the SE7 outfit lost their Championship status.
“Having a good morale is vital because little things can happen on the pitch and you want to help your team-mate out,” said Pearce.
“The feeling around the boys at the moment is really positive.
“There are going to be a lot of highs and lows in a season but we are doing well. The manager is making sure we keep our feet on the ground. We know there is a long way to go.”
Charlton moved into the top six after Saturday’s 2-1 win over Plymouth Argyle. They have not dropped a point in September.
But Pearce pays no attention to the league table now.
“It means nothing at all,” he said. “It is nice to be up there but there are so many games left to play and so many points available.
You want to be up there, but it is a marathon and not a sprint. The only time you need to be up there is at the end of the season.”
Pearce took over the matchday armband from Chris Solly this season, the latter still club captain.
Bowyer admitted recently that his warrior mentality meant he had to come back into the side this month even though replacement Naby Sarr had done little wrong.
Now the pair are in tandem with Patrick Bauer out with a knee injury.
“Naby is such a talented footballer,” said Pearce. “Bow put me back in the team and people could say it was a harsh one for Naby, and I felt that because he had done nothing wrong.
“I get on well with Naby off the pitch as well, we’re friends. He’ll have a good career.
“It’s difficult to say one person makes the difference to the team. I feel I do bring different things in terms of my leadership when I am out there.”
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