Lee Bowyer has the best win ratio of any permanent Charlton manager during Roland Duchatelet’s reign – and his start to life in The Valley hotseat is only trumped by one boss.
The former Addicks midfielder’s victory percentage going into tomorrow’s game at Blackpool – his 30th game in charge – is 55 per cent.That is better than Alan Curbishley, Chris Powell, Andy Nelson and Mike Bailey for that mini-milestone of matches.
Only the legendary Jimmy Seed (pictured above) – with a 57 per cent win ratio – is ahead of Bowyer.
The current incumbent will look for his 17th victory this weekend and his team’s 100 per cent record in November saw Bowyer collect the League One Manager of the Month award.
He was unaware of the exalted Charlton company he was ahead of until told by the South London Press.
“It’s just being out there every day and working hard,” he said. “Improving players – that’s my job.
“Those sort of stats are what makes it worthwhile. It’s an achievement for myself. It shows that it all pays off.
“I’m really chuffed with the award. It’s my first one as a manager. It’s funny I get the award – but it’s the players that win the games. I think everyone to do with the club is part of it.
“Everyone must say that – but it’s true. That applies to the staff and players in getting the side ready; but the fans played a part as well, just look at that Tuesday night game at Burton. That stands out for me, because they were brilliant. They kept singing and singing and singing – then we scored right at the end.
“The only thing I want to win this season is promotion. That’s what I’m pushing for – hopefully that [win] percentage will go up.
“We’ve had a lot of things to juggle this season with injuries. We’ve still got a few out but we’re sticking together and working hard as a group.
“I have won a few Player of the Seasons awards but never a monthly one. I don’t think they had them in the Premiership back in those days – if they did then I didn’t hear about it!
“I’ve brought it home to show the kids – they love a trophy. I don’t know where I would leave it at the training ground – you never know, it might go missing!”
Jason Pearce was shortlisted for Player of the Month but could not make it a club double.
“He is our leader and sets the standard out there,” said Bowyer. “I speak to him quite a bit and once they step out on the pitch then that’s the person I rely on.
“He’s the one I’ll speak to, to try and get them going. You can rely on him 100 per cent. He’s a rock and is pushing them all the time. He doesn’t let standards drop.”
Charlton could be boosted by the return of Karlan Grant (hamstring), Krystian Bielik (hamstring), Tariqe Fosu (groin) and Chris Solly (knee) for their Bloomfield Road assignment.
The quartet were not fit for the FA Cup second round loss to Doncaster Rovers. Bowyer has spelled out that wholesale changes were pretty much forced on him.
“I went in Saturday morning for a training group with the lads who were spare,” he said. “There were only four – Pearcey, Pat Bauer, Joe Aribo and Lyle. They are the only four who could’ve played Saturday.
“Pat’s just come back from injury and we’d chucked him in the deep end because Krystian had been moved into midfield. He’s had to play two or three 90 minutes, which we didn’t really want to do to him. He couldn’t have played on Saturday – it would have been a massive risk.
“The same applies to Lyle, especially when Karlan was struggling as well.”
Bowyer has spoken before about how vital it is to tinker with his starting line-up when they play Saturday-Tuesday to keep freshness and energy high – and that is the scenario again as they head to table-topping Portsmouth next week.
“I’d like to rotate but I’ll have to see who is available on Tuesday because we are a few down at the moment and unfortunately I might not have the choice,” he said.
“This is a big month for us, I told the lads that again on Tuesday. Two wins will put us right in amongst it, we are amongst it now, but Blackpool are right behind us and we need to keep them at bay.
“If we close the gap on Portsmouth then things will start happening.”