Charlton defender Naby Sarr: Sunderland would have targeted me – I had no issues being replaced in League One Cup final

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Charlton defender Naby Sarr had no complaints about seeing his play-off final action ended at half-time – admitting he would have become targeted by Sunderland.

The French centre-back was booked in the first period for a foul on George Honeyman.

And Sarr did not re-enter the field of play after the interval, with Jason Pearce coming on.

Asked if he accepted the call made by boss Lee Bowyer, Sarr replied: “Yeah, of course – because they would have done everything to send me off.

“I had a yellow, so the gaffer decided it was a bit risky – Pearcey went in and did the job. It was a clever move.”

Sarr had opened the scoring at Wembley but not at the desired end, keeper Dillon Phillips missing his back-pass to put the Black Cats 1-0 up after five minutes.

But Ben Purrington and Patrick Bauer responded for the South Londoners as they triumphed 2-1.

“Wow, a lot of things happened,” said Sarr.

“With the own goal I thought it was a good pass, but maybe it was a bit too hard – I don’t know.

“Shit happens, football is like that.

“But the reaction was good from the boys.

“It’s been a long journey. My first time at Charlton was not very good in the Championship and relegation. Three years later we have a promotion.

“I’m really pleased with what we have done this year. We gave a lot of effort and today [Sunday] was a reward to all the fans, players and staff. Everyone is happy.

“It [Wembley] is a beautiful stadium. To see it full of Charlton and Sunderland fans was even better.”

Sarr wants his defensive partner Bauer – out of contract in June – to sign fresh terms with the Championship new boys.

“He is a great, great player and we’ve seen this season he has been very regular and very trustworthy. Of course I would be happy for him to stay. “But it’s not my decision. It is his and the club’s – hopefully he will stay.”

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