Charlton manager Lee Bowyer has claimed certain members of his squad can’t handle the pressure of the League One playoff chase.
The Addicks overcame Wigan Athletic 1-0, at the DW Stadium thanks to an early goal from Chuks Aneke – who was initially suspended for fixture before having his red card rescinded earlier this week.
The East London club have only won of four out of their last 16 games, with manager Bowyer, suggesting that talk about the playoffs being behind his teams recent dip in form.
“I just felt that me and everybody else talking about the top six got to the players and maybe some of them couldn’t handle that pressure,” said Bowyer.
The former Leeds midfielder, hopes that with the “pressure off them” they now can going forward “enjoy the game” as clubs enter the business end of the season.
“Some can take pressure, some can’t. That’s why I decided to take the steps I have and try to unload from them of all that pressure, get back to basics and go and enjoy the game,” added Bowyer.
“We tried to take the pressure off them, then let’s see how they go once the pressure’s off. [Last night’s] a good start but it’s something we have to build on.
“Every single one who started and came on, they all played a big part last night. I don’t doubt the players, I know they try but my job is to try and get a bit more. Maybe I was trying to get something that wasn’t quite there. That’s why I took a little step back from it. I have to keep pushing them because if not they don’t improve.”
“Not just to me but [it’s about] proving something to yourself,” he added. “Every player, they’ve got to take pride in their performances. If you want to play in my team, you have to persuade me. Yesterday a lot of them did. I made seven changes, that’s a lot of changes from Saturday so people came in and they’ve done well.”
Charlton will hope that they can carry their winning momentum on against fellow playoff chasers Oxford United on Saturday, at the Kassam Stadium.