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Injuries derailing Charlton’s fast start — Interview
Friday, 20th Dec 2019 12:48 by Clive Whittingham

Having been tipped by many (ok, us) for relegation straight back to League One this season Charlton worked themselves into the early promotion picture, but as David Bonney tells us a biblical injury list has seen them drop like a stone in recent weeks.

Got to be honest, we had Charlton down as dead last this season with the ownership situation and everything else, but you started the season brilliantly - did you expect that and how did they do it?

No one expected us to have such a good start, even Charlton fans. We ended up having a really good end to the transfer window though bringing in loans like Conor Gallagher from Chelsea that have turned out to be great for us and keeping Lyle Taylor and Jonny Williams meant we ended up cobbling together at the last minute a really good squad in spite of lack of funds. That coupled with the momentum from promotion and the real connection that’s returned between the fans, staff and players has shown on the pitch when needed getting us through games when we’ve had to defend and throw bodies in front of the ball.

Charlton league games so far…
Blackburn 1-2 Charlton Phillips og 54 — Purrington 43, Taylor 77
Charlton 3-1 Stoke Taylor 25, Aneke 75, Gallagher 83 — Ince 37
Barnsley 2-2 Charlton Woodrow 34, Chaplin 48 — Gallagher 40, Taylor pen 89
Charlton 1-1 Forest Taylor 18 — Adomah 78
Charlton 1-0 Brentford Gallagher 41
Reading 0-2 Charlton Leko 51, Taylor pen 80
Charlton 0-1 Birmingham Bellingham 51
Wigan 2-0 Charlton Dunkley 22, 70
Charlton 1-0 Leeds Bonne 32
Charlton 1-2 Swansea Leko 2 — Danda 17, Ayew 65
Fulham 2-2 Charlton Cavaleiro 55, Mitrovic 61 — Gallagher 41, Bonne 57
Charlton 3-0 Derby Bonne 6, Sarr 48, Gallagher 67
Bristol City 2-1 Charlton Diedhiou 75, Brownhill 90 - Bonne 65
West Brom 2-2 Charlton Phillips 10, Robson-Kanu 81 — Bonne 65, Cullen pen 90
Charlton 0-1 Preston Gallagher pen 58
Millwall 2-1 Charlton Hutchinson 6, Smith 90 — Leko 61
Charlton 2-2 Cardiff Gallagher 13, Leko 42 — Mendez-Laing 52, Tomlin 73
Luton 2-1 Charlton Ruddock 19, Brown 53 — Leko 7
Charlton 1-3 Sheff Wed Bonne 26 — Fletcher 17, pen 80, Nuhui 90
Middlesbrough 1-0 Charlton Saville 1
Charlton 0-1 Huddersfield Daly 90
Charlton 2-2 Hull Pratley 34, Sarr 50 — Bowen 47, Phillips og 90

Big slump of late though, is this purely due to injuries and it'll all turn around when the players come back? Or more troublesome?

It’s been all down to injuries. There have been a huge amount, and it’s mostly afflicted our best players. That’s why the fans, so far, have stuck behind the team despite the downturn. We’ve not been able to field a full bench in a few games even though we’ve drafted in youngsters to make up the numbers. Players are starting to come back in dribs and drabs now though so our results should hopefully improve.

Lee Bowyer's pretty much known nothing but success since he took over, how's he dealing/coping with his first big bad run?

He’s just been firefighting really, it’s been a struggle just getting a team out at times and he’s been unlucky not to get more points than he has. He’s really going to prove himself in the next few weeks I think, we’re getting players back now so he needs to start picking up points and show that the early season form wasn’t just a lucky blip.

New owners must be very welcome, what do we know about them? What have they said and done so far?

Yeah it’s been another reason why, despite the bad run the team has been on, the fans have still remained pretty upbeat as we finally see the light at the end of the tunnel regarding Roland’s disastrous tenure of the club. It’s not done and dusted yet as they still need approval from the EFL (which seems to be taking a long time) but our proposed new owner is H.E Tahnoon Nimer “Chairman of Abu Dhabi Business Development, the private office of Sheikh Saeed Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, and oversees the running of more than 60 companies including energy, insurance, broadcasting, shipping and sports businesses” as detailed in the club statement. So there seems to be money there and Bowyer says they’ve promised transfer funds which is a novelty for us so it all sounds positive.

Any January activity being rumoured? Names mentioned?

The takeover hasn’t been ratified yet leaving us in limbo transfer window wise. Don’t think Bowyer’s sure if he’s shopping in Lidl or Waitrose yet.

Ins: Macauley Bonne, 23, CF, Orient, £200k >>> Tom Lockyer, 24, CB, Bristol Rovers, Free >>> Chuks Aneke, 25, CF, MK Dons, Free >>> Adedeji Oshilaja, 26, CB, Wimbledon, Free >>> Ben Amos, 29, GK, Bolton, Free >>> Nathan Harness, GK, Stevenage, Undisclosed >>> Ben Purrington, 23, LB, Rotherham, Free >>> Tomer Hemed, 32, CF, Brighton, Free >>> Erhan Oztumer, 28, AM, Bolton, Free >>> Adam Matthews, 27, RB, Unattached, Free >>> Joe Ledley, 32, CM, Unattached, Free >>> Josh Cullen, 23, CM, West Ham, Loan >>> Beram Kayal, 31, CM, Brighton, Loan >>> Conor Gallagher, 19, CM, Chelsea, Loan >>> Sam Field, 21, CM, West Brom, Loan >>> Jonathan Leko 20, RW, West Brom, Loan >>>

Outs: Anfernee Dijksteel, 22, RB, Middlesbrough, £1.9m >>> Josh Parker, 28, LW, Wycombe, Free >>> Jamie Mascoll, 22, LB, Wycombe, Free >>> Igor Vetekele, 27, CF, Westerlo (Belgium), Free >>> Joe Aribo, 22, CM, Rangers, Free >>> Mark Marshall, 33, RW, Gillingham, Free >>> Nicky Ajose, 27, CF, Exeter, Free >>> Patrick Bauer, 28, CB, Preston, Free >>> Tariqe Fosu, 22, LW, Oxford, Free >>> Ben Reeves, 27, AM, Released >>> Mikhail Kennedy, 22, CF, Released >>> Albie Morgan, 19, CM, Ebsfleet, Loan

Stand out players and weak links in the side?
Our midfield has really been hollowed out due to injuries plus we look shaky down the left side defensively at times if Purrington and Sarr play. The big positive is that Lyle Taylor is likely to be ready to start, he really is our talisman and has been our biggest miss injury wise.

Seen much of Tomer Hemed so far?

Who? Not really seen anything of him, started off having to wait ages to get approval to play. His transfer was completed so late it was touch and go if it would be allowed to go through or not. Then has been a victim of our injury curse.

How do you see the rest of the season panning out?

Depends on the new owner and his ambitions really, but I think we’re good enough for mid-table mediocrity with most of our squad back and will avoid a relegation scrap.

Links >>> Charlton official website >>> South London Press — Local press >>> Into The Valley — Message Board >>> Forever Charlton — Blog

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TacticalR added 15:22 - Dec 20
Thanks to David.

Charlton have had some good results this season.

Injury crisis? After Middlesbrough I am very suspicious of opposition teams claiming they have an injury crisis.

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