BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Lee Bowyer is ready for the red-hot atmosphere of The Den – and reckons his Charlton Athletic side can use that to their advantage.
The Addicks boss scored the last time that they beat Millwall in a fixture – 23 years ago on home turf.
Bowyer and his players get a chance to end that record tomorrow afternoon on enemy soil.
“It can be quite intimidating there,” said the Charlton manager. “I didn’t mind playing in those kind of places.
“You can use it as a strength – a bit like when we went to Portsmouth last season [and won 2-1]. If you do things the right way then you can silence them and even turn them against their own team.
“That is what we did at Portsmouth. We quietened the crowd. Then it becomes an advantage – because our fans will be as loud as anything.
“We can match sides physically but the most important thing is not just to get caught up in that. I go back to the Portsmouth match and we did that side but also passed when we had the ball.
“Yes, we have to compete and be physical – because if we don’t then they’ll win the game.
“If we match them or do better on the physical side and pass the ball like we can then we’ve got a good chance of winning.”
If Bowyer’s boys are to end a 10-match sequence without winning this derby then they will have to do it without talisman Lyle Taylor (knee).
The striker came through the youth ranks at Millwall but was released. He has scored 30 goals in 51 matches for Charlton but will not be fit until after the international break.
Bowyer knows he will get stick from the home support.
“All I can say is I’ve been to worse places in my playing days,” he said. “I have been to Old Trafford and Anfield and been abused by 50,000 people.
“I’m sure I’ll be okay.
“I’m sure they’ll have their fun. I’ll just ignore it. I’ve dealt with that type of thing through all of my playing career.”