Date: 18th October 2018 at 3:40pm
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Gameday thirteen is fast approaching and prior to the match Lee Bowyer held his weekly press conference and since there was not one last week there is a lot more for the boss to talk about.

When questioned from the club’s website Lee Bowyer had this to say ahead of the Barnsley clash.

“Yeah, they’ve turned it round in the last few weeks. They had a slow start, hit and miss but they’re a good side. They scored four away to Peterborough, three against Luton last weekend. I’ve watched those two games, they’re good in possession. Their movement is good and their rotation. They have weaknesses though, like every team. We need to be secure under the ball and when we win it, we have to use it well. The difference with them is that they are ruthless in front of goal. When they get a chance, they take it. They’re a Championship side that has come down, they lost one or two from their squad but mainly kept their side. They’ll be up there. I’ve said that from the start. It’ll be our biggest test so far this season.”

Bowyer is obviously wary of the quality that Barnsley possess and if I’m honest I am too. It’s going to be very hard game to play as they have a selection of great players in their squad and Bowyer is right to let his players know about the dangers The Tykes can pose to us. He also mentioned that they have weaknesses too and I for one hope Bowyer knows exactly what he is doing when he plays against those weaknesses.

Another question involved Karl Robinson’s return to The Valley. His Oxford side has had a terrible start to the season and on Tuesday Robinson will be looking for a win against his former side.

“It’s been tough for Oxford at the moment but they had a good result against Plymouth. It’s good for Karl, I was pleased for him. They’ll pick up points. I’m not thinking about Tuesday. I’ll concentrate on Saturdays’ game then after that we’ll think about Oxford but at the moment it is Barnsley and getting through this and getting the win.”

Bowyer has to be adamant to beat his former boss and us fans have to get behind the team in which should be a hard game for us as Robinson knows us well. However, at the same time, we have changed a lot since Robinson left.

Lee was asked about the record-breaking victory against Stevenage.

“I have to say, it’s the best game I’ve seen live. No disrespect to Stevenage but they couldn’t get near us. It shows how well the squad are playing and how far we’ve come with possession of the ball. The number of times we kept the ball for, I don’t know how many passes, and went from back to front was unbelievable. To score eight against any team, we made 10 changes. The kids that came in holding their own and kept improving. They keep improving and that showed. Taylor and George were outstanding in the middle of the park. Young Toby had never played a game before and scored a hat-trick. He will never ever play a game like that (again) in his whole career. It was great for him to step in and take the chance the way he did. You had the experienced players. Wardy and Pratley, they helped the younger lads. They played really well and it’s the best game I’ve seen live and I told them that after the game.”

I know that Stevenage is a league below us, but what a performance that was The Boro were just not there on the day and Charlton were looking their best. We can look at this game and be proud and those youngsters that were out there can hold their heads high, some of them must be looking to move forward from it and take that form in to the first-team because you can’t just demoralise a team and not get anything after, those young players that played on the night are the future and if they can reap a few more results like that they can become the present.

One player who shone throughout was none other than Toby Stevenson. Honestly I had never heard of him before he started this match and for a young player like him getting a hat-trick in his first Charlton game and being a defender is something unheard of. Lee Bowyer had a few words to say about him.

“To get the match ball on your first game ever, playing at left wing back is some achievement. Not many out there have done that. I’m pleased for him, he’s a good lad and did well. He deserves all the praise that he got.”

Congratulations to Toby and I hope to see him in the first-team pretty soon, after a performance like that you would stupid to not put him up front!

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