Why Charlton Athletic can turn up promotion heat on Portsmouth, Barnsley and Sunderland

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

richard@slpmedia.co.uk

Charlton can turn up the automatic promotion heat on their rivals tomorrow – as they will have played before everyone else kicks off.

The Addicks’ match at Oxford is a 1pm kick off.

Second-placed Barnsley and Portsmouth are not in action until 3pm while Sunderland is a 5.15pm start.

If Charlton were to win at the Kassam Stadium then they would move level with the Tykes.

“It’s not a bad situation to be in – if they see us sitting their level on points,” said Addicks boss Lee Bowyer. “It might put them under a little bit of pressure. I wouldn’t say it makes that much of a difference because they’ll still go out and try to win, no matter what the situation is.

“All these games are tough. Everyone is playing for something. It is going to be hard now. Whoever can pull out the results towards the end will be the side that go up.

“I think Luton are done – they’re up. It is just between us four really, who gets second spot.”

Charlton follow up with Scunthorpe United at The Valley on Monday.

“We could easily go into Monday evening sitting second – that’s the reality of it,” said Bowyer. “With two games to go.

“We need a little bit of luck between now and then, for sure. We have to be there, just in case they do give us an opportunity. Nothing changes for us.

“We are out of it, on paper, because we have got three teams ahead of us. To ask three to mess up is a lot. One or two is a push as well. But there’s a chance. There’s definitely a chance.

“I’m looking forward to these last four. If we get through tomorrow then it will be exciting for the last three.”

Bowyer has rotated the likes of Chris Solly and Naby Sarr out of his side when the fixtures have been packed together – Anfernee Dijksteel and Jason Pearce coming in of late to lighten the workload.

Asked if he will do the same with the Easter schedule, Bowyer said: “Not necessarily. I think this is the most important one, so I’m going to weigh it up this morning, chat with the others.

“But they’ve had a long enough rest from the last one – it’s almost a week. They should be good for tomorrow. Whatever side I put out is going to be a strong side – because everybody is fit.”

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