Lee Bowyer tears into his Charlton Athletic side and calls display against Accrington Stanley “unacceptable”

Lee Bowyer blasted the performance of his Charlton team after tonight’s 2-0 loss to Accrington Stanley.

The Addicks manager has been critical of his side’s performances on more than one occasion this season.

And successive reverses – Colby Bishop striking in either half – have dropped the SE7 outfit out of the League One top six.

Bowyer said: “They deserved to win – from start to finish they looked hungrier, they had more fight. I just said to the players that it’s probably the calmnest I’ve ever been after a defeat ever. And it’s because I can’t defend what’s just happened.

“It’s not like my team. My team, you fight for everything. And then at least if you come off you say: ‘I’ve given everything’. There were too many last week, too many this week who think they can just turn up and be given three points. We got outfought and outbattled. We were too soft.

“First goal – it’s laughable. It’s like going to watch Sunday league football, that goal. What, the goalkeeper catches the ball and just punts it up there? You have a mix up. Come on, you’re meant to be professional footballers. That can’t be happening.

“You’ve got to take pride – two experienced players. Your captain and your goalkeeper. That’s a poor goal.

“At times we moved the ball well and we had to move it well because we don’t have that physicality until we bring Chuks [Aneke] on.

“We had to be brave and try and play out at times, maybe overplay at times but when we did do it then we looked dangerous. But again, in front of goal, they threw their body on the line, blocked shots and their keeper made some good saves.

“It’s just not good enough. Not acceptable. And to play for this football club, you think it’s acceptable to jump out of tackles? Literally jump out of the way. Again. That’s two players now. To play for this football club you should be proud and fight for this shirt. There are too many that turn up, think it is okay ‘I’ve got another one Tuesday’ – because we have got injuries and we’re short in midfield.

“Maybe people think ‘I have to play because there is no-one else’. So they think they can take it easy, I don’t know. I don’t know – I can’t put my finger on it.

“But what I’ve witnessed just there is not what I expect from any of my team. Disappointed….I’m being very, very polite there.

“Sometimes it’s not about what I do. I said to the players: ‘You have to look at yourselves at times’. Do you accept what you’ve just done on the pitch? Do you accept it, as a professional footballer? Some of them, it’s their career. Some of them are coming up in the last year of their contract. Some of them are playing for contracts, whether it is with this club or a different club. They are on Sky tele – these are the days, if anything, you express – not go the other way.

“When I say you’ve got to be brave – fight and compete – that also means to be brave getting on the ball. Not just hiding. Get on the ball and make something happen for your team. Not just the physical side.

“What will I do? I will speak to them as individuals. But as a starting 11 there isn’t really much you can do. The midfield is the midfield. That’s the three midfielders who are fit and eligible to play today. And Tuesday – it will be no different.

“Jonny Williams came on. Was he any better than any others? No. You’re bringing midfielders on and thinking ‘ come on, now give us that bit in the last 20, 30 minutes’. Chuks did. Chuks made a difference. The other two didn’t. If anything it made us weaker. And I have to take the blame for that. I brought on subs to try and make us better and it made us weaker. But that’s players who have to look at themselves as well. Have I given enough? Could I have given more? If any of them walk off that pitch and say: “I gave everything’ then they are liars.

“I can do so much but sometimes it comes from within. If you accept that is good enough then you’re in the wrong game. And you’re definitely at the wrong club – because you have to fight at this club.”

PHOTOS: PAUL EDWARDS


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