Lee Bowyer pleasantly surprised by Charlton Athletic start – but claims they could have won all five Championship matches

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Lee Bowyer always felt his Charlton side could be a surprise package in the Championship – but admits he did not expect them to early frontrunners.

The Addicks are third in the table after Conor Gallagher’s goal earned a 1-0 victory over Brentford on Saturday.

“I didn’t think we would be up there in third but I did say we would surprise teams,” said Bowyer.

“We were 2-0 down at Barnsley [drew 2-2] and on another day we could’ve won that.

“Okay, on Saturday everyone will probably say we didn’t really deserve to win it – but there are two sides to the game. There is the nice footballing games but there are also the ones where you have to dig deep and grind it out.

“We had to win ugly, as the old saying goes, on Saturday.

“I keep saying it about this group – we can play but we can also compete and fight.

“We could have won all five matches. We were unreal in the first half against Forest and should have put the game to bed.

“At Barnsley we missed a couple of very good chances where we were one on one with their keeper.

“I’d definitely take where we are. It is only early – we’ve got 40-odd games to go.

“If we can keep putting points on the board and keep the players believing and gaining in confidence then hopefully we will get to where we need to in terms of staying in the league.

“If we do that we can see where we are and have a discussion about where we go from there.”

Deji Oshilaja (groin) is set to sit out Saturday’s trip to Reading.

“We’re hoping he just misses one game,” said Bowyer.

Photo: Paul Edwards

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