Charlton boss explains why he started Naby Sarr instead of Jason Pearce in Leeds United match

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

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

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