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Charlton boss Lee Bowyer explains Billy Clarke’s absence from squad for Bristol Rovers win – plus gives update on fitness of Ben Reeves

Charlton boss Lee Bowyer has revealed why Billy Clarke wasn’t involved in the matchday squad for 3-1 win over Bristol Rovers.

The Irishman spent eleven months on the side-lines after rupturing his ACL last December. He had since returned to make FA Cup appearances against Mansfield and also played some EFL Trophy minutes at home to Swansea u21s recently, but was absent today.

“No set-back, he’s just not ready,” explained Bowyer.

“I spoke to Billy yesterday. On Tuesday’s game he got caught a lot in possession. Billy Clarke never gets caught in possession, he’s too clever. That just shows you that he’s not ready yet. It’s going to take time.

Billy Clarke applauds the fans after Charlton’s 1-1 FA Cup draw at Mansfield. Photo: Kyle Andrews

“He’s been out a year. You can’t just play two or three little u23 games and think I’m back ready now. He has to be patient and I have to be patient. I’m not doing him or myself any favours by playing him at the moment.

“He’s got to get this rustiness out of him. His brain is telling him one thing but his body can’t do it at the moment. I spoke to him yesterday and said don’t beat yourself up, it’s going to take time.”

Bowyer also had to do without midfielder Ben Reeves, but says there’s a chance he will feature in Tuesday evening’s game away to Burton Albion.

“He trained Monday and Tuesday, wasn’t ready for the game on Tuesday. Then he trained Thursday and just felt something. So, he didn’t train yesterday but the scan didn’t really show anything.

“I’m hoping he might be able to play a part but we’ll just have to see how it goes over the next couple of days. But Reeves might be back sooner than we first thought.”

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One thought on “Charlton boss Lee Bowyer explains Billy Clarke’s absence from squad for Bristol Rovers win – plus gives update on fitness of Ben Reeves

  • Charlie Clarke

    It’s been a long road for our Bill. We are delighted to see him back in action and he’ll be good as new very soon!
    Love from dad.


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