BY LOUIS MENDEZ
Lee Bowyer hailed his “fearless” side as they extended their unbeaten start to the season with a 2-0 win at Reading.
Second-half goals from Jonathan Leko, his first for the club, and Lyle Taylor saw the Addicks home – and the margin of victory could have been even wider after a dominant second half from the South Londoners.
Charlton are second in the fledgling Championship table after winning four and drawing two of their opening six games.
“Fearless,” is how Bowyer described his side’s display at the Madejski Stadium.
“They’re in the that zone at the moment where they just believe they are going to win every game. I’m making them believe that they can win every game.
“We had a bit of luck first-half. If they’d had taken the chance that Dillon saved at the end it would have been a different game but overall, over the 90 minutes, we thoroughly deserved the win. It could have been four or five.
“If it weren’t for a couple of bad decisions from our lads in the final third we could have scored four or five, comfortably. We won 2-0. A clean sheet again. The defensive side of the game was outstanding. From back to front we were excellent and we deserved the three points.
“I said at half-time that we were taking too many touches. Once we picked the pace up and moved the ball quickly, like we’re good at, I don’t think they could get near us. We just carved through them. We got in and around their box so many times second half and should have made it count. The game should have been put to bed with half-an-hour to go.”
West Brom loanee Leko grabbed his first goal for the club, and indeed his first in senior football, just after the break to cap an impressive personal display.
“He’s our wildcard,” said Bowyer.
“You never know what you’re going to get from him, but he’s exciting and can make things happen out of nothing. He deserved his goal. I told him before the game that I fancied him to score today. Thankfully now he will get confidence from that and it will only benefit us.
“Conor Gallagher, it was a big test for him playing against John Swift because he’s a good player. He gets forward and was causing us problems but Conor did his defensive side of the game well today.”
Sam Field was withdrawn with an injury midway through the second-half but Bowyer says he’s not set for a long-term lay-off.
“He’ll be okay,” he explained.
“He just twisted his ankle a little bit but I’m sure he’ll be fine. He did well. Read the game, broke a lot of things up and got us playing.”