Lee Bowyer has reiterated his desire to strengthen his squad as Charlton gear up for the new season, but he would not be drawn on whether Josh Cullen and Krystian Bielik are realistic loan targets.

The duo played significant parts in helping the Addicks return to the Championship for the first time in three years last season, culminating in a dramatic play-off final at Wembley.

And despite both having voiced desires to break into their clubs’ first-teams it has been mooted they could come back for another season at The Valley.

Bowyer insists the club is working hard in achieving its transfer targets, and remains positive they will be achieved, with central midfield a key area.

But when asked about bringing back play-off heroes Cullen and Bielik he stopped short of suggesting whether they could return to The Valley this season.

Bowyer said: “We've just got to keep working hard. We know our limits but I think, after today's performance, it's obvious that we need more bodies. That's for sure.

“But we'll keep working hard and I'm sure, by the time the end of the window comes and it closes, that I'll be happy with the squad that I'll have.”

On what specific areas the club is focused on, he added: “Midfield.

“Because, if you think out of that starting 11 that we had today, we [previously] had Krystian Bielik, Josh Cullen and Joe Aribo. That's three out of the four, so we've lost three out of the four main midfielders that we had last year.

“That is an important part of the pitch. A lot of games are won and lost in the middle of the park and we need to strengthen up in that area for sure.

“And up top. We need another couple of strikers as well.”

Cullen has previously stated he aims to fight for a spot in West Ham’s first-team this upcoming season, having featured in their preseason campaign thus far.

And Bielik has not been shy about voicing his desires about breaking into Arsenal’s first-team, either.

Asked about the viability of bringing them both back on loan again, he said: “I don't know. They're playing for their clubs now so I'm not going to comment on that, just out of respect.

“West Ham know that we like Josh and Arsenal know that we like Krystian. At the end of the day they are away with their clubs now and they're trying to get into the first-team, and I hope they do.”