Charlton’s injury crisis in midfield is well documented but it’s the defence that is of concern to Lee Bowyer.

A 2-1 defeat at Luton Town on Tuesday night meant the Addicks have now conceded 11 goals in the last six games, a stark contrast to the defence that conceded 12 in 12 games prior, and it’s clear to see why Bowyer is worried.

With only Deji Oshilaja a defensive injury doubt, the Addicks boss is aware he will need to see a better return from his backline if they are to halt their recent run of form.

“We're conceding too many,” Bowyer said.

“That’s what disappointing me because that’s where we are strongest, we’ve only got one injured defender.”

The Charlton boss admitted it was not rocket science as to why they were conceding at a greater rate than last season, where their defence was a key component as to why they got promoted.

 “We are playing against better quality players!” he added.

“We can’t get away with it like we did in League One.

“It’s a mini Premier League.

“They’re a lot better player, international players.

“How many play for their countries? There’s loads at our place.

“At this present time it’s tough, I knew it was always going to be tough, I knew all season it would be.”

Injury Crisis

Charlton’s treatment room is overloaded at present, and in particular the midfield department making Conor Gallagher’s suspension after picking up his fifth booking very untimely.

This Is Local London: Gallagher will be suspended for Saturday's tie with Sheffield Wednesday (PIC:Kyle Andrews Photography)Gallagher will be suspended for Saturday's tie with Sheffield Wednesday (PIC:Kyle Andrews Photography)

Albie Morgan started alongside Gallagher and the evergreen Darren Pratley just a week after cutting his Ebbsfleet loan deal short to add numbers to Bowyer squad, and it’s likely the midfielder will make another start at the weekend against Sheffield Wednesday, although fellow youngsters Alfie Doughty and Josh Davison are unlikely to feature from the first whistle.

“We can’t change it up, it’s the group we have so we’ll dust them off and go again,” Bowyer continued.

“The kids aren’t ready to start games.

“I put Albie (Morgan) in because if I played Deji (Olishaja), he’d have broken down.

“At least Albie played a few League One games last year, and he’s played men’s football before.

“The others aren’t ready.”

“If we had our full squad it’d be completely different, but it isn’t, and we have to find a way.

“If we went toe to toe with Luton with a diamond in midfield we’d beat them but we couldn’t play it because we didn’t have the personnel.

“So we can’t play the formation we want to play. It’s tough.

“We have to fit something around what we have to give us a chance.”


This Is Local London: Doughty in action (PIC:Kyle Andrews Photography)Doughty in action (PIC:Kyle Andrews Photography)

“There are a lot of positives though, the youngsters got on, it’s positive for the club, their development.

“We’ve come here with a depleted squad and still given them a good game, we didn’t get outplayed.

“We’ll keep working hard, but it’s tough when you have these quick turnarounds, we might have four players to train on Thursday properly.

“It’s crazy, but what can you do?

“It is what it is, we can’t change it, but we’ll keep working hard and I promise the lads will give 100% on Saturday and they won’t let us down.”

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