Lee Bowyer praises “outstanding” Alfie Doughty and reveals sickness bug in the camp had worsened the injury crisis

BY LOUIS MENDEZ

Charlton boss Lee Bowyer heaped praise on youngster Alfie Doughty after his impressive display during the 3-1 loss against Sheffield Wednesday.

The 19-year-old, playing out of position at left-back, was a late call-up to the side after Ben Purrington fell ill this morning.

The academy graduate, who was recalled from his loan spell at Bromley due to the Addicks’ current injury crisis, provided the assist for Macauley Bonne’s first-half strike on what was his first ever league start for the club.

“I thought he was outstanding,” beamed Bowyer.

“He’s not a left-back. He had to fill in at left-back and he was excellent from start to finish. Defensively and attacking. He was playing at Bromley two weeks ago and now he’s playing against Sheffield Wednesday and playing well. Against top wingers, as well. Their wingers are as good as any other in this division.

“He’s just shown that [he can play Championship football]. He was excellent. You can’t just fluke what he’s done there. But you have to be careful because they’ll blow up and you can kill their confidence. If they make a mistake, it’s how they handle that. Today we had no choice, but would I trust him to play again? Yes.”

The Addicks boss was already without twelve members of his squad this week, with Purrington and substitute goalkeeper Ashley Maynard-Brewer then contracting a bug that has spread within the club.

“With the injuries, we’ve got enough of them, but then to chuck in a few illnesses as well doesn’t help. It’s a good thing that we were playing at home because if we weren’t, the sub goalie went ill and we were able to bring in a sub goalie from up the road. If we were at Wigan we wouldn’t have had a sub goalie today.

Charlton Athletic v Sheffield Wednesday SkyBet Championship, The Valley, 30 November 2019

“Ben Purrington was down to start, just before we got on the coach, was ill. Once we got here and out the team sheet in, Albie Morgan was being sick just before the game. We couldn’t do anything about that and had to just see how he went. He was sick again at half-time and that’s why we took him off.

“It was tough, but on the positive side, I hate losing but I’ve just said to the players, ‘hold your heads up high,’” added Bowyer, after late goals from Steven Fletcher and Atdhe Nuhiu secured the win for Wednesday.

Fletcher had given the visitors a 17th-minute lead, before Bonne levelled up eight minutes later.

“They should be proud. They’ve just put a great team performance in. They can’t give me no more than what they’re giving out there.

“It took until the 80thminute before they got the penalty and we were in the game. First-half they caused us some problems, we had some good opportunities but our final ball looked nervy. Second-half, they got on top a bit but then we changed shaped and I thought it was quite even until the penalty.”

PHOTOS: KYLE ANDREWS AND KEITH GILLARD

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