Charlton boss Lee Bowyer says the victory over Wycombe Wanderers is exactly the type of gritty performance that wins promotions.
Jason Pearce’s strike ten minutes before half-time earned the Addicks an untidy victory over the relegation-threatened Chairboys – but only after they battled away to keep the hosts from levelling to earn their fourth clean sheet in a row.
The result leaves the South Londoners just four points shy of the top two, although second-placed Sunderland do have a game in hand.
“We’ve got players now that fight and compete,” said Bowyer.
“Last season we were too lightweight. Tonight, we showed that we can play away against these physical sides and win. I said to them, don’t worry about the games where we’ve outplayed teams and murdered them with possession, these are the ones that get you promotion. The tough ones that are physical and a battle. I can’t tell you how proud I am. They should be proud of themselves. And the fans were unreal. I think they’re enjoying it. They like to see the good football we’ve played this season but I bet they loved that as well.
“I’m just so proud of the players tonight. They’ve given everything. They’ve had to put their bodies on the line like no other game this season. Physically, that was so demanding for them. It was unreal. To compete and fight for every single ball, because that’s what Wycombe did. They’re good at what they do.
“It doesn’t matter what the score is at this stage of the season. The most important thing is the three points.
“Another clean sheet. The lads put their bodies on the line. Dived in front of shots. They did everything that I asked. I said don’t leave anything out there this evening. You’re going to have to give everything. You’re going to have to compete like you’ve never competed before Wycombe are fighting. They’re a side that want to stay in this division.
“A 1-0 result is a great result. We could have scored more but we’ll take that and go home with that.”
Bowyer made four changes ahead of the clash with the Chairboys and it was one of those in Pearce who bagged the winner.
“It was made for him, wasn’t it,” said Bowyer of his captain.
“When I changed it, I said to [assistant Johnnie Jackson] and the other staff ‘this game is made for Pearcey. This game is made for (Darren) Pratley. Made for (George) Lapslie. They love battles. They had to be at it for ninety plus minutes. Pearcey defended like a lion and came up with the goal as well. Everyone was outstanding tonight.”