Lee Bowyer admits that Charlton need to tighten up at the back after run of one clean sheet in nine games

BY LOUIS MENDEZ

Lee Bowyer admits that his Charlton side are shipping too many goals at the moment.

The Addicks have only kept one clean sheet in their last nine Championship outings –a run that includes seven times in which they have been breached twice in the same game.

Tuesday evening’s 2-1 loss at Luton Town was the latest in a stretch of disappointing results, with the South Londoners now winless in six.

In contrast, Bowyer’s side have scored in all bar one of those nine games. The Addicks boss says his team are being punished for their mistakes more often after promotion to the Championship from League One.

Charlton’s defence is by no means the leakiest in the Championship – 10 sides have conceded more – but Bowyer wants to see an improvement.

“We’re playing against better quality players now,” said Bowyer.

“In League One you can get away with it, you can make a mistake. You can maybe let your runner run or let your forward pull off the back of you. You can’t do that in the Championship. You’re playing against much better players.

Lee Bowyer at Luton. Kyle Andrews

“A lot of international players, these are good players. It’s a mini-Premier League. How many players in this division do you see going off to play for their countries. We’re got loads at our place. They’re playing against better quality players in this division and at the present time it’s tough.

“We’re conceding too many goals at the moment. That’s what is disappointing me because that is where we’re strongest. All of our injuries, we’ve only got one defender that is injured. We’re still managing to go around everywhere we go and score goals. We’re conceding too many.

“It was always going to be tough,” added the Charlton boss, after his side’s fourth defeat in six games.

“I knew it was going to be tough all season. Everyone got carried away because we had a decent start. Don’t get me wrong, if we had our full squad I think it would be completely different. But we don’t so we just have to find a way.

“Tonight, if we went toe to toe with them in the diamond we would beat them. We couldn’t do that because we didn’t have the personnel. We can’t even play a formation we want to play because of the way things are at the moment. It’s tough. We’re trying to fit something around to give us a chance and we did. I thought the lads gave everything.”

PHOTOS: KYLE ANDREWS

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