Charlton boss Lee Bowyer hails team spirit as Addicks open up eight-point cushion on play-off rivals

Lee Bowyer hailed his side’s team spirit after an impressive display saw off fellow promotion hopefuls Portsmouth at The Valley.

Goals from Joe Aribo and Lyle Taylor either side of the interval were enough to see off the South Coast outfit despite Ronan Curtis levelling up the scores shortly after the opener.

The result sees the Addicks open up an eight-point cushion on seventh-placed Peterborough as they look to bag a play-off place for the second season running.

“I thought a lot of the results went for us before we kicked-off, which is always an added bonus,” explained Bowyer.

“But I said to them just concentrate on our job. If you win today you go two points behind Portsmouth. Not so long ago they were 10, 12 in front of us. It just shows how hard we’ve been working and how well we’ve been doing to get these results. There’s still a long way to go. Ten games to go. There’s going to be some funny weeks where results surprise everybody.

Charlton Athletic’s Joe Aribo scores his side’s first goal of the game

“From the first five minutes, once we got control of the ball and moved it, we created three good chances first-half.

“They scored from a set-piece. We’d been working hard at that so that was disappointed, but I said to them just keep going. Keep doing the right thing and you’ll create chances. We deserved it. We could have scored another two or three in the second-half. We thoroughly deserved the result.”

Aribo was named as man of the match and Bowyer says the midfielder, whose goal was his sixth of the campaign, is only going to get better.

“Joe is just improving,” he explained.

“The good thing for me is that he is getting into the box. I keep drumming into him, get in the box and things will fall for you. He’s doing that. I thought he was outstanding. Not just his goal. I can’t remember him giving the ball away at all. He wins the ball back, breaks it up. The kid’s got everything.”

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