Lee Bowyer sets his Charlton Athletic side a points target for Championship safety

BY RICHARD CAWLEY
richard@slpmedia.co.uk

Lee Bowyer has set his Charlton Athletic side a safety target of 45 points this season.

The Addicks have 18 points after 11 matches and are 10th in the Championship standings.

Charlton’s fine start to the campaign has given them a solid foundation as they look to consolidate after League One play-off final success in May.

“If you break it down we’re nearly a quarter of the way through the season,” said Bowyer. “We’ve got 18 points and that’s not bad. We’re ahead of schedule. We need to get to 45.

“I’m happy with the way things have gone. Not just the points on the board, we’ve played some top sides and every single game we’ve been in it.

“In the Birmingham game [lost 1-0] we were in it. In the Wigan game [lost 2-0], even though we were poor in the first half, we could’ve easily come away with something – and the same with Swansea [a 2-1 defeat].

“In two of the three games we’ve lost it has been set-pieces which have cost us. It’s not like we’ve been outplayed or outfought.

“We’ll go for 45 points and then we’ll know we’re safe. We’ll re-evaluate then, see where we are. It might be that we say then: ‘Let’s have a right good go at it’.”

Bowyer has refused to get carried away despite some impressive displays.

Even just before the international break they twice led at Fulham and came away with an excellent 2-2 draw.

Forty points has usually been enough to keep clubs up in recent seasons. If that is the case then the Addicks are almost halfway there.

“It’s dangerous to say that,” replied Bowyer. “Because it is fine margins. The difference in this league is that teams are more ruthless.

“If you look at the matches we have lost, we didn’t do much wrong and came away with nothing.

“We played so well against Fulham and Leeds – everything worked – but we still could’ve come away with nothing.

“We did nothing wrong against Swansea and were the better side for the majority of the game and did come away with nothing. We didn’t deserve to come away with nothing from Wigan, but we did.

“You can easily go five games and not win, and from not doing much wrong. That’s what this league is. How many games did Stoke go without winning? It can definitely happen.

“But the players are confident. They are in a good place. It’s how they will react because they are not used to losing a lot.”

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