Charlton Athletic have key men struggling for Gillingham clash

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Charlton Athletic boss Lee Bowyer has four players who have reported niggles this week – and will take no risks for Saturday’s trip to Gillingham.

The Addicks already know they are in the League One play-offs. The only remaining challenge would be to finish higher in the table so that they can get the second leg at home.

But Lyle Taylor, Patrick Bauer, Jonny Williams and Krystian Bielik are all doubts for the match in Kent.

“I don’t want to disrupt anything if I can help it,” said Bowyer. “Because winning games, that’s a good habit to be in.

“I know I have to look after the players, I’m not stupid. I need to look after them, but at the same time I need them to be sharp and ready for the play-offs.

“It is like a catch-22. People think they could get injured – they could get injured in training, like Krystian last week. He fell over and hurt his shoulder. Injuries are things you can’t really control, they just happen.

“But, saying that, on the other hand we have got four players – Lyle, Pat, Jonny and Krystian – who have got slight little knocks.

“We knew about Krystian, but Lyle, Jonny and Pat have gone in this week with little knocks. Lyle has got a bit of a groin while Pat and Jonny are a bit knees, they took a couple of whacks at the weekend.

“When we have things like that I will then play on the cautious side, because I have to look at the bigger picture.

“Do I want to leave them out? No, I don’t because I want to keep them ticking over nicely and I want that sharpness to be there. It is not fitness, they will always get through a game, it is the sharpness you need to keep on top of.

“It might be a case of leaving a couple out.

“Igor played at the weekend. Now I’d like to try and give him a good 80-90 minutes, that will be the plan for him.

“I had to risk him the other day. Igor is one who loses fitness quick so we need to keep on top of him. If you look at the weekend he did not look as sharp as he did the two games before that.”

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