Lee Bowyer was pleased with the performance his team put in and felt they deserved a goal in Tuesday’s, 3-0 Carabao Cup loss at Premier League outfit West Ham United.
Sebastian Haller netted twice in the first half and Felipe Anderson scored with time running out as the Hammers’ multi-million pound strikeforce made the Addicks pay.
Bowyer said: “In the first half I thought we looked nervous. 90% of it was backwards, afraid of giving the ball away, a lot of negative play. At half time we had a word, I said ‘believe’ and in the second half I thought we were the better side, I thought we were the most dangerous. The only thing we were lacking is that final pass, that final finish. That’s what you pay for. They get that final chance at the end and it kills the game. We deserved to score a goal, our performance, we deserved to get on the scoresheet.
“They get a chance and they take it or they get into a dangerous area and they make the right decision, that is what costs money. In and around the box they’ve got a lot of good footballers. They’ve got some good players in that final third.”
Bowyer made three changes from the side that played Crewe Alexandra on Saturday including handing a debut to Manchester United loanee Dylan Levitt.
17-year-old Charlie Barker played his fourth consecutive game and Bowyer explained the cup tie would prove a useful learning experience for some of his young players.
He explained: “I said to the young lads that they can take this as a learning curve. We’ve played against these [Premier League] players. They should take a lot away from that. Charlie playing against a Premier League centre forward. Young Dylan started a bit nervy but you could see what he can bring to us. Alfie caused them a few problems.”
Bowyer substituted Macauley Bonne at half-time to rest him ahead of Saturday’s league game against Doncaster Rovers and the Charlton Manager explained that was his main focus.
“They’ll have a rest tomorrow,” he said, “I said to them ‘ignore the score, the most important thing is Saturday’. We’ll be ready, that’s why I took Macca off, that’s why I took Pratley off, that’s why I took Jonny off. The most important thing is getting them ready for Saturday.”
Bowyer, who had two spells as a player at West Ham, praised the opposition and former Charlton loanee Josh Cullen.
He said: “They’ve got some quality players, you can see that tonight. I think they need to be a little bit more ruthless. I think first half they could have put it to bed. They’ve got a good squad, a strong squad. It was good to see Josh Cullen, he didn’t put a foot wrong. He won’t let them down.”