Bowyer 'not panicking' ahead of Wigan Athletic test
Lee Bowyer insists all is well in the Charlton camp ahead of Tuesday night’s League One clash at Wigan Athletic.
The Addicks, who were relegated from the Championship at the end of last season along with Latics, were one of the pre-season favourites to go straight back up.
But a wretched run has seen them slip to five points off the play-offs – having played three games more than sixth-placed Doncaster.
Their most recent outing saw them lose 3-0 at home to Blackpool, during which they had Darren Pratley and Chuks Aneke sent off.
Bowyer has been critical of some of his players this term, but rejects the notion any of them aren’t playing for him any more.
“That’s wrong,” he said. “Because there is mutual respect there.
“I will always treat them all the same – I treat them all with respect.
“If they do good things I say they did well. If they do bad things I say they did badly. That’s the game.
“If you are playing professional football you should be able to handle that.
“You can only take praise but can’t take criticism? Don’t be silly. They are men.
“That’s the kind of person I have been with them from day one – I’m honest and straight. If I’m asked a question I’m going to say how it is.
“They are trying. On Saturday we had two players sent off, rightly or wrongly, so they are trying. But mistakes are costing us.
“The first goal was another mistake and we’re chasing the game again. It is not easy when you keep going behind – and not through good play.
“We’ve conceded too many soft goals and given teams a leg up.
“Do I think they are trying? Yes, I do. I see them every day in training.
“Every time they step on the pitch they are trying – but they are making mistakes and it is costing us.”
Bowyer is also refusing to rule out a play-off finish, which would require a massive about-turn in fortunes in the last third of the campaign.
“I’m not panicking,” he told the South London Press. “Do I think the top six is not possible? I don’t think that at all.
“But I’m also disappointed because we have dropped some points that we shouldn’t have.
“That’s on paper – but football is not won on paper.”