Charlton Athletic manager Lee Bowyer aiming to keep perfect Wembley record

BY RICHARD CAWLEY
richard@slpmedia.co.uk

Lee Bowyer is aiming to maintain his perfect Wembley record – and wants Charlton’s players to enjoy their moment on the biggest stage in English football.

The Addicks boss won there as a player in 2011 with Birmingham City, who toppled Arsenal 2-1 in the League Cup final.

Now comes his first time as a manager after Charlton edged a thrilling League One semi-final against Doncaster Rovers to set up a repeat of their 1998 Division One showdown against Sunderland.

Bowyer has re-united the Addicks squad with the fanbase, who want to see owner Roland Duchatelet sell up.

Bowyer said: “It’s going to be nice to have some positive stuff happening. And going to Wembley is definitely positive, because in my long career I went there once, played there once.

“There are a lot of kids in there [his Charlton squad] – 18, 19 and 20. They’ve got a long career in front of them and they are already going to play at Wembley. We all have to enjoy it, and I’m sure we will.

“My last experience was very good. I’ve got a 100 per cent record there!”

Bowyer, assistant boss Johnnie Jackson and head of recruitment Steve Gallen were in the crowd at Fratton Park to watch Sunderland’s 0-0 draw at Portsmouth.

Chris Maguire’s goal in the first leg was enough to take the Black Cats back to Wembley, after losing the EFL Trophy final on penalties at the end of March.

“You can’t take anything from Thursday’s game because it ain’t going to be that type of football match,” said Bowyer.

“It [Portsmouth-Sunderland] was long ball, competing, fighting.

“They’ll have strengths and weaknesses and so will we. We can’t control what they do.

“All I know is that when we turn up, we’ll be ready.”