Charlton Athletic boss Bowyer on not starting Chris Solly, Tariqe Fosu’s absence from Blackpool game and his take on their four-game winless spell

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Lee Bowyer opted to give Chris Solly a break on Saturday – with the Charlton Athletic stalwart sitting out only his second League One match of the campaign.

The 28-year-old right-back was an unused substitute in the 0-0 draw with Blackpool.

Dutchman Anfernee Dijksteel came into the Addicks defence.

“I just wanted to give him [Solly] a rest,” said Charlton boss Bowyer. “He’s played six on the spin and I have to look after him.

“As bad as that might sound, it’s the truth. We’re going to have a run of games Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday and I want to make sure he’s ready for that.

“Anfernee is a good replacement. It’s not like I’m weakening the side bringing Anfernee in, I don’t believe we are. Okay, he didn’t have his best game in possession but he did what we asked of him as a defender out of possession.

“The back four all defended well and it is another clean sheet. In the last few months we had been scoring for fun but couldn’t keep a clean sheet. Now we are keeping clean sheets and things aren’t breaking for us at the other end.

“We just can’t get that goal but it is going to come. It’s just a matter of time. You can’t keep happening like that, that you have a shot or a cross and the keeper is saving.

“It’s not dropping for us but that will change, I’m sure it will.”

Bowyer confirmed that Tariqe Fosu was not injured. The winger did not even make the bench.

“I picked an 18 that I thought would work on the day,” said the Charlton manager. “That was what it was, he was in over the weekend – he came in and ran on Saturday.”

Charlton are winless since January 19 – drawing three of their four fixtures.

So is it a blip or a wobble from the play-off chasers?

“I can understand why people are saying that,” said Bowyer. “Because we ain’t won in four. But, for me, you can swing it around.

“We’ve lost one in four. On Saturday we created enough chances to win the game. For three of those four matches we didn’t have Lyle [Taylor] – and Karlan [Grant] left.

“I don’t think there is too much wrong. Saturday was a difficult game. They just came and made it difficult for us. We were the much better side and dominated the second half.

“They were diving in front of however many balls. I’m not going to criticise anybody, because the lads gave their all and it wasn’t a bad day. Okay, we didn’t get the result we wanted but the fans appreciated the effort everyone put in.

“It was disappointing, because we didn’t get the points we expected to get.”

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