Charlton AthleticSport

Charlton Athletic boss Lee Bowyer: I’ve got to be tough with my players – I only want to help make them better

Lee Bowyer has revealed he would have hooked Macauley Bonne at half-time for his miss in Saturday’s loss to Reading – the striker only staying on because of the lack of options on the Charlton bench.

The former Leyton Orient forward scored for the first time since Boxing Day in last week’s derby defeat at Brentford.

But Bonne missed a chance against the Royals in the first period as he failed to get a clean connection on Aiden McGeady’s near post cross, kicking the hoarding in frustration after the ball ended up going past the left upright.

Charlton manager Bowyer substituted Albie Morgan at the break because he did not track the run of Andy Rinomhota, who in turn was fouled by Deji Oshilaja for George Puscas’ match-winning penalty.

“People might think it’s harsh but I’m here to make them better,” said Bowyer. “With Macca’s chance he is three yards out. What do you want me to say? ‘Unlucky, well done?’ Come on.

“As bad as Albie’s one was that can cost you a game, it costs you a game up their end as well.

“If I’d had a sub I said to Macca I’d have taken him off as well.

“The reality is this is my job. I’m firm but fair.

“|How many times have you heard me praise Albie and Macca? On Tuesday we lost the game and I praised Macca, his work-rate was pleasing and he scored his goal. But I’ve also got to do the other side. I can’t just praise everyone all the time.

“I push them and it’s why they have all improved individually – I push them all the time.

“Albie is learning. Someone said to me after the game that Albie’s passing was really good – but it was just that he let his man run past him, it’s cost us the goal and we’ve lost the game. That’s the reality of it.

“I love Albie. He’s a player who has come back and I’ve got nothing but praise – he has come back a completely different person and lost a lot of weight. He’s fitter.

“But he’s got to learn the other side of the game and if it costs you in games then I feel I can’t take that risk that he’s going to let someone run off him and cost us a goal – especially when we’re not really scoring many. Apart from that Albie did well in the first half.”



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