BY RICHARD CAWLEY
On-loan midfielder Conor Gallagher has been told to take a proper break by Charlton boss Lee Bowyer as he serves his one-match suspension in Saturday’s home game against Sheffield Wednesday.
The on-loan Chelsea teenager has been a huge success in SE7 and has netted six times this season, form which has led to him being capped at England U21 level.
Gallagher’s ban could swell the number of first-team players unavailable to Bowyer for this weekend to 13 – Erhun Oztumer is looking to recover in time from a bruised foot.
And the Charlton boss admits 19-year-old Gallagher was due a break, although he would not have chosen for that to be when his options are so heavily depleted.
“He needs one,” said Bowyer. “I think on Tuesday he probably looked a little bit more tired than I’ve seen him before.
“I rang him last night and said get away for a few days, because all the international breaks he has been away and played in every game. It will be good for him to have a few days to recharge his batteries. We’ll see him again Monday.”
Gallagher had been on four cautions for a number of games, collecting his fifth in Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat at Luton Town.
“I would never criticise him for the challenges he made – that’s the way he plays and I accept that,” said Bowyer. “He runs around, gives 100 per cent and just chases everything down, so to be honest I think he did well to go this long and not pick up five bookings.
“We were worried he would miss the Millwall game a couple of weeks ago because of the way he plays – the intensity he plays at means it was only a matter of time.
“There is no good time for him to be out – we’re going to miss him whichever game it was, but especially with all the injuries. It’s another body we’re short of.”