BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Lee Bowyer reckons Lyle Taylor will be “like a kid in the playground” as he makes his Charlton Athletic return in Saturday’s home game against Blackpool.
The Addicks’ top-scorer has been banned for three games after an FA disciplinary panel reviewed a goalmouth melee in last month’s win over Accrington Stanley.
But Taylor, who has hit 15 goals since a summer move from AFC Wimbledon, is back in contention for this weekend.
And that is a major boost after Charlton owner Roland Duchatelet opted to sell strike partner Karlan Grant to Huddersfield Town in a deal that reputedly could be worth £2million.
Bowyer said: “He’s a big part of what we have done so far this season, that’s obvious.
“So has Karlan as well. The last three games without your two strikers has been difficult and that’s shown with the points we have got, although we still could’ve won at Peterborough.
“The last two matches without either of them has been very, very hard. It just shows how important Lyle is. He’s helped Karlan get his move.
“I know he is chomping at the bit to get back out there, he has been for the last couple of weeks. He doesn’t like missing games and can’t wait to get going.
“I think he’ll be like a kid in the playground on Saturday. It must have been even harder for him to watch a defeat or a draw – if you win then it wouldn’t be so bad for him.
“Instead he’s seen the lads give everything and still not get our rewards. He knows he can make an impact.”
But Taylor is also heading towards another suspension – for 10 bookings.
He only needs two more cautions to serve a two-game ban. Krystian Bielik moved into double figures at the weekend and misses the Blackpool fixture and the match at AFC Wimbledon on February 23.
The cut-off date when disciplinary records are wiped is after game week 37 in the EFL, meaning Taylor needs to keep his nose relatively clean for another five matches.