Charlton AthleticSport

Darren Pratley: Charlton boss Lee Bowyer needs to be backed with signings during loan window

Photo: Kyle Andrews


Darren Pratley has called for Lee Bowyer to be backed with signings during the loan window, if Charlton are to be promoted this campaign.

33-year-old midfielder Pratley is one of only three new arrivals at The Valley so far this summer, with Lyle Taylor arriving from AFC Wimbledon and goalkeeper Jed Steer signed on a season-long loan from Aston Villa.

Pratley, who experienced promotion from League One with Bolton Wanderers two years ago, says that he hopes to see five or six extra bodies come in to the South Londoners before the loan window closes at the end of August.

“You need a big squad,” explained the Barking born midfielder.

“League One is relentless, there’s no international breaks. There’s a lot of games, a lot of cups. You need a decent squad. We’re quite thin. We’ve got good players but we’re quite thin. It will be nice if the manager can be backed in this next couple of weeks with some players.

“We had a big squad (at Bolton). We had people at home, rather than not having any subs at Sunderland, not filing the spaces. We had people at home that were good players and would get into other League One clubs. You need a squad. The same at Swansea as well, we had a good squad and a big squad. You don’t want it over-big as keeping everybody happy is tough but you do need a decent amount of players.

“There’s always pressure in football. You want to finish as high as you can. I didn’t want to come down to League one and just sit here and float. Obviously I wanted to be back home in London but I don’t want to be here just for the ride, I want to try and win something. People will say I’m coming towards the back end of my career because of my age, I’m 33 at the moment. But I want to win stuff. What [Lee Bowyer] is saying about the top two is the right attitude, that’s what you want from your manager. But at the same time, we are a small squad.

“We’ve only had two players and now the goalkeeper Jed who has come in. We’ve had a few injuries – Jake (Forster-Caskey) is probably our best player – so to lose him is a big blow. We do need some bodies in. Hopefully we can get some bodies in during this loan window because if you want to finish in the top two you are going to need a big squad. A squad that’s capable of challenging. There’s going to be injuries, suspensions. If it was just one game and you had your best eleven then I’d fancy us against anyone. But as a squad it would be nice if he could be backed a little bit.”

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