Charlton Athletic boss Bowyer warns that Dons will be a tough test – and how his rotation options are dwindling

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Charlton boss Lee Bowyer is expecting a tough afternoon from AFC Wimbledon on Saturday – especially with their South London opponents under new management.

Plough Lane favourite Wally Downes has replaced Neal Ardley and his first game in charge was a 1-1 draw with Rochdale last weekend.

Charlton climbed to fifth in the League One table following Tuesday’s 2-1 victory at Portsmouth. Maximum points against the Dons and Gillingham before the Christmas fixtures will boost their top-two hopes.

“I watched Wimbledon’s game on Saturday and it was a good result,” said Bowyer. “It is going to be difficult, it always is when we have played Wimbledon. 

“It is quite local to us and they always seem up for it.

“We have to move the ball when we’re in possession, the same as Tuesday. 

Wally Downes
Picture: Paul Edwards

“They have a new manager to impress. I imagine that means the door is open now for people who haven’t really been playing. 

“They’ll all be putting a shift in. That is the type of man they have got – who will get the best out of anyone and make them run through brick walls for him.”

Bowyer’s selection options could be further reduced after a bruising midweek clash on the South Coast.

Wimbledon have had a clear week to prepare.

“I’ll have to try and make some changes but I’m running out of players pretty rapidly,” he said. “Then it becomes a situation where you can’t rotate because you haven’t got ones to rotate in.

“The most important thing is the recovery. They were off yesterday and today will almost be a second recovery day, going to the pool. 

“There won’t be too much on the pitch today. We can’t, because we can’t take the risk.” 

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