Charlton AthleticSport

Charlton Athletic boss Lee Bowyer: Our tactics have worked – it wasn’t possession for the sake of possession

Lee Bowyer has spoken in-depth about Charlton’s tactics in recent matches – and explained why it does not bother him if the possession stats are slanted in the opposition’s favour.

The Addicks’ last three victories have all seen their opponents have more of the ball.

And Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton reckoned they were “the better footballing side” on Tuesday. Conor Washington’s brace and a Ben Purrington header earned maximum points for Charlton – who made it six straight victories and seven undefeated.

Bowyer told the South London Press: “When we were in this division before we were a side that dominated possession – but we had different players then.

“So with the group we have, we have got to find a different way to win – and that’s what we’ve done.

“You can have the ball all you like, but if you don’t create chances you’re not going to win games. And I would say against Fleetwood the other night they moved the ball well – I’d agree with that – but before they scored our goalie never touched the ball and we were 2-0 up.

“Was it a gameplan? I looked at them, I went 4-4-2 and accepted they might have more possession in the middle of the park. But I knew where they were vulnerable and what their weaknesses were. That’s part of the game.

“There are other games where we’ll dominate possession because we’re set up a different way. Tuesday it was the right way to set up – I accepted they might have more possession, but it was in front of us. The first time Ben [Amos] touched the ball was to pick it out of the net. We had been 2-0 up – it should’ve been more as well.

“We did the same against Oxford. People said to me: ‘Nice side’. Great, but all I care about are the three points. Against Portsmouth the other day was the same. They moved the ball well, so did we at times.

“Tuesday was probably the best we have done in possession so far – in what I want from the team in terms of moving the ball, trusting each other and the way we moved into possession to hurt them was very good. It wasn’t just possession for the sake of possession.

“Against Portsmouth I thought we should hurt them more but we just didn’t take care of the ball at all – the two times we did we scored.

“We will get better. We’re ahead of where we expected to be because we haven’t had any time – we got a group of players and chucked them together. There’s been no time to work because it has been game after game after game.

“The medical team keep you off the training pitch because it is about recovery. You’re working with maybe eight players in between the games – the others are just recovering.

“What they have done is come together as a group and defended properly. I’ve been really pleased with the squad’s hunger to keep the ball out of the net. If you do that then you’re going to win a lot more games than you lose – because we’ll always create chances.”



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