Charlton boss Bowyer on left-back dilemma and an injury boost as Billy Clarke returns to full training

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Lee Bowyer has re-iterated that Jamie Mascoll is not ready to start League One games for Charlton Athletic – with the Addicks boss requiring a defensive rejig for Saturday’s home game against Coventry City.

Lewis Page had been playing through the discomfort of a groin problem but was forced off in Tuesday’s 5-3 loss at Scunthorpe United.

Bowyer confirmed to the South London Press this morning that Krystian Bielik has resumed full training. It could see the on-loan Arsenal man start in central defence with Naby Sarr pushed into a makeshift left-back role.

Asked about Mascoll’s chances of involvement, Bowyer said: “No. He’s not ready.”

The Addicks have lost Page until after the international break, which kicks in following the visit of the Sky Blues to SE7 this weekend.

“It’s an injury that we have been trying to manage,” said Bowyer. “We just haven’t had cover there. We’ve asked him to rest up and then go out and play. But Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday games have killed us. He didn’t have enough time to recover.

“He said he felt good before he played but something has gone wrong somewhere. If we’d had cover I’d have rested him.

“We were trying to get him to the international break. Hopefully he might be back shortly after that.

“It is just our luck at the moment but we’ll adapt. Like I have said before, one door closes and it opens for someone else to come in and stake a claim.”

Darren Pratley is suspended after collecting five bookings.

Asked if he has been able to field his strongest line-up yet, Bowyer replied: “No. Tariqe [Fosu] has only just come back and he was an important player for us at the end of last season when I first took over.

“He has started the last two games even though we wouldn’t have wanted him starting Tuesday night really, but I had no-one else who can do what he can do. It was just asking a bit too much as he looks a bit rusty.

“I haven’t been able to pick a consistent side for two games on the trot. But that’s why you have a squad. It shows how well the players have done with the chopping and changing. We’ll have to do the same on Saturday.”

Billy Clarke has resumed full-contact training from today. The former Bradford City attacker had cruciate knee ligament surgery last season.

“He trained last week but it had to be a splitter – no-contact – but he got through that,” said Bowyer. “It is going to take him a while to get back to where he was. But at least he is back now training and allowed contact. That’s another plus.”

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