Jonny Williams joint-topped the Championship assist rankings this weekend when he set up Conor Gallagher for the eventual winner in Charlton’s 1-0 win over Brentford.
That merely scratches the surface of the contribution Williams has made on Lee Bowyer’s squad since extending his stay in SE7 this summer.
Speaking after the match against Brentford, Williams was clearly delighted to help Charlton continue their fine start to life back in the Championship.
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“I think our main aim is to play attractive football, that’s something that the manager always wants us to do. When you come up against a team that wants to do that too it’s going to be tough, especially after [Nottingham Forest].
“We knew Brentford were going to have a lot of the ball, but some of the blocks and the performances put in at the back were exceptional, some of the best stuff that I’ve seen playing as a teammate. [Jason] Pearce was exceptional.”
The 25-year-old continued, owing Charlton’s strong start down to Bowyer and the recruitment. “It shows what a job the manager has done here, the players that have been brought into the system and bought into the system. Everyone wears their heart on their sleeve and gives more than 100 percent to the manager and that’s a credit to him for bringing in the right players. They’ve been a joy to play alongside and they’ve brought the best out of me as well.”
Williams continued in his praising of the Charlton boss, highlighting not only his tactical knowledge but also his ability to man manage.
“I’ve had a full pre-season thankfully because of him. Had he not invited me along with the team I don’t know where I’d be at right now fitness wise, whether I would have played as much as I have right now, I probably wouldn’t...
“The end product is something I’ve always wanted to work on and it’s something that’s been missing from my game and If I keep working on that it might be nice to get on the end of a few chances but Bowyer’s just telling me to keep making the box and chances will drop. I’ll just continue to do that but it’s a pleasure to work alongside him and I’m really enjoying my football at the moment.
“He’s given me the belief. The main thing is, he’s believed in me as a player, I haven’t always had that in my career. It helps in my game sometimes if the manager puts his arm round me at times. At [Crystal Palace] I didn’t have that. I was kind of having to find it within myself and I wasn’t really showing the player that I am today. It’s down to him really, believing in me and giving me a chance.”
Despite showing his flair and desire to move forward, fans would have undoubtedly noticed his contribution to the side when they’re on the backfoot.
“He’s definitely been helping me on my defensive side, it’s made me fitter for a start. He’s working on all the aspects of my game going forward and tracking back, it’s something you see Lyle doing week in, week out. Even [Tomer] Hemed, he’s not been here long, and you’ve see him tracking back to the left back position.
It’s things like that get you over the line. It’s them fine margins where you put the extra graft in to work for the team and it’s fantastic really, it’s great.
Having been called up by Ryan Giggs’ Wales squad for the first time since October 9th, 2017, Williams confessed he has missed being part of the international camp.
“It’s something I’ve missed if I’m being honest. I probably haven’t deserved to be in it because I haven’t been playing enough recently. It’s been hard to take not being there because it’s such a great camp to be a part of.
“We’ve got some tough games coming up after two defeats in the summer. But yeah, I’m looking forward to that. Playing at club level is my main aim but Wales is just the icing on the cake really.”
Focus now turns to the remaining game against Reading before the International break and Williams insists that while victory is the word on Charlton’s lips, the players are only thinking about the next game and not getting ahead of themselves.
“It’s early [in the season] but we can only keep playing what’s put in front of us and so far, so good, long may it continue.
“We know we’ve got a tough run of games coming up so it’s nice to be surprising a few people along the way for sure.
“We’ve got one more game until the international break and I think we’re looking to win that as well to be honest!