Charlton boss Lee Bowyer has plenty of admiration for Fulham – but reckons they are one of the Championship sides whose midfielders don’t track back,.
The Addicks chief has spoken before about his side taking advantage of teams who don’t go with runners, in particular when Conor Gallagher scored in the 1-0 home win over Brentford.
Fulham have craft and guile with the likes of Tom Cairney, Ivan Cavaleiro and Anthony Knockaert but sometimes only play with one holding midfielder – former Charlton youngster Harry Arter or Harrison Reed.
Bowyer, pictured inset, said: “Fulham are one of the sides who don’t track back – they believe in their back four and sitter to defend. That’s definitely a weakness of theirs. Our players like to get forward and it is maybe somewhere we can catch them out.
“There are a lot of teams at this level where the midfielders feel like they don’t have to track back.”
Bowyer and assistant Johnnie Jackson were at Reading on Tuesday night to see Fulham win 4-1 – Aleksandar Mitrovic and Tom Cairney both scoring twice.
Bowyer said: “They were good but Reading had a couple of chances before Fulham scored – they went through one on one once.
“On paper they have got the strongest squad in the division.
“This match is not going to define if we stay in the league. As long as we defend right we’ll be in with a shout. If we keep a clean sheet I fancy us to win the game.”
It will be two Addicks academy products in charge.
“I know Scottie [Parker] well – I played with him at West Ham and Newcastle,” said Bowyer. “He’s a winner – the same as me.
“He has gone in there and done a good job. He has a good squad of players and they play good football. I could see the other night that their movement is very good. They are very good in the final third.
“They can hurt you from nothing. Cairney has scored from the edge of the box in the last two games – put them both in the top corner.”
PICTURE BY PAUL EDWARDS