Charlton manager Lee Bowyer has explained his decision to start with Naby Sarr against Leeds – because it was to make their 3-5-2 system work.
The Addicks played the opening stages of Saturday’s 1-0 win with a four-man backline but then switched, writes Richard Cawley.
And Bowyer opted for Sarr to start ahead of club captain Jason Pearce. The Charlton manager said:
“It was always the plan to try and go for it in the first 20 minutes, try to nick a goal.
“I hoped we started like we did against Forest, win the ball back higher – but we couldn’t get near enough to them.
“Then after 20 minutes the plan was to go three at the back. I’d watched a lot of different Leeds games and noticed they weren’t as effective against three at the back. They are still a good side, but they don’t create as many chances. So if we could cut their chances in half then it creates more chance of a clean sheet. Then you’ve always got a chance of winning the game.
“Thankfully it paid off. Once we went three at the back we seemed to get more possession as well because Naby and Tom [Lockyer] were stepping in. When they are crossing it we had more bodies in the box.
“I started with Naby because I knew we were going to go three at the back and he is more comfortable coming out with the ball. That’s what I said to Jason as well. I was honest with him, I’m always honest.
“He asked me the question: ‘Why am I not playing?’ He had done nothing wrong. But that’s why we have a squad, some games will suit certain players.”
PICTURE BY PAUL EDWARDS