That was his best game for the club – Charlton boss Lee Bowyer heaps praise on Macauley Bonne after late goal against Wigan

BY LOUIS MENDEZ

His late leveller gave Charlton renewed hope of avoiding the drop and Addicks boss Lee Bowyer said that Macauley Bonne had put in his best display throughout his time at the club during Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Wigan Athletic.

The former Leyton Orient striker had come in for some criticism from his manager since the return from lockdown after a handful of missed chances, with the frontman guilty once more of failing to convert a one-on-one as Tics keeper David Marshall denied him midway through the first-half at The Valley.

But the 24-year-old did bag an equaliser in added-time to notch his third goal in four games and his 11th of the campaign – his first in Championship football.

“I just said to Macca, that’s the best game he’s played since he’s been at the club by a country mile, for me,” explained Bowyer, after his side claimed a point that means their survival is still in their own hands when they travel to Leeds on Wednesday.

“Not just because he scored, did you see how hard he worked? Physically, he was putting his challenges in and putting his body on the line. That’s part of the game as well. I had a go at him maybe a week or two ago and people might have thought I was a bit harsh on him there, but that’s my job. My job is to push and to bring the best out of them.

Macauley Bonne celebrates his late strike against Wigan. Kyle Andrew

“Today, I said to him well done. You were outstanding. You could have easily gone the other way with me having a go at him but he didn’t, he stood up like a man and he improved. Is that not good? That’s perfect for me. I’m really pleased for Macca, he deserves all the praise he’s going to get after this game because he was outstanding from start to finish.”

There was a surprise start for youngster Josh Davison against the Tics, with the ex-Enfield Town man given his first minutes since the return from lockdown by Bowyer.

The 20-year-old had started a hat-trick of Championship games during the height of Charlton’s injury-crisis around the turn of the year, but hadn’t featured at all since the return to action.

“Really good,” added Bowyer when asked what he made of the young forwards’ afternoon’s work.

Josh Davison challenges for the ball in the air. Paul Edwards

“He’s got a lot to learn but he will fight for absolutely everything and that’s what we needed today. Tomer [Hemed] couldn’t start, he was tired from Wednesday. Chuks [Aneke], for us, is more of an impact player. When I’ve started Chuks, he hasn’t had the same effect when I start him compared to if he comes on. Today, he was excellent coming off the bench. So, I thought, Josh Davison, he does well for us. In training, he scores in the small-sided games we play.

“Technically, we need to work with him, but I know I’ve got a young lad who’s going to run around for me and fight for everything and that’s what we needed today. It was a case of OK, you go and do the dirty work and get them ready for when Chuks comes on. I thought he was excellent. Of course, a couple of times he made the wrong decision, but he’s a young lad learning.

“Both my strikers that I started today were playing non-league a year ago. Now they’re playing in the Championship. That’s how difficult it is for us. But Josh, I thought he was very good. For a young lad, his first involvement since lockdown, he should be really pleased with himself.”

PHOTOS: KYLE ANDREWS/ PAUL EDWARDS


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