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  • by Yann Tear

Lee Bowyer says bright start for Charlton helped by opponents' attitudes

Lee Bowyer says he will go into the latest international break delighted with how well his side is doing – and says it’s partly down to teams underestimating the Addicks.

Charlton once again made a nuisance of themselves against one of the Championships fancied teams and although they were hanging on grimly towards the end, they bagged a fine point in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Fulham.

It follows hard on the heels of a fine win against Leeds and a very respectable showing in the midweek defeat to Swansea.

“We’re nearly a quarter of the way through now and we’ve done ourselves no harm,” said the Charlton boss after being asked by Capital Football to assess the campaign so far.

“We’ve gone toe to toe with Fulham, Leeds, Swansea, all in one week and we’ve been OK. And the three that we’ve lost, we’ve been busy in all those game as well. It’s fine margins.

“It hasn’t surprised me because I believe in the players I have I know that they’re going to give me 100 per cent every time. I now that they can play football.

“The thing I was hoping for was that people would probably underestimate us a bit and that’s what’s happening at the moment. People are thinking: ‘Oh, they’ve just come up.’

“I’m not saying Fulham didn’t [respect us] today, because I know Scotty and he would have had them at it, but I think the way we play, the way we press, we surprise a lot of teams – and we create chances.”

Charlton were one of the sides expected to struggle following last season’s promotion, via the play-offs, especially as they have suffered from injuries, losing main striker Kyle Taylor.

“Obviously we miss Lyle [Taylor] because you do know with him, he either scores or creates,” Bowyer said. “We miss, everybody in this division would miss Lyle – it’s like Fulham if you took Mitrovic off, you’re going to miss him.

“But Mac [Macauley Bonne] has come in is doing really well and he deserved his goal today and I’m really pleased for him.

Bowyer is also delighted with Chelsea loan signing Conor Gallagher, who scored Charlton’s opening goal at Craven Cottage. Still only 19, he is an exciting prospect.

“What’s he got, five goals? One in two. For a 19-year-old kid that’s never played men’s football before. I think he’s surprised everyone I think. I think he’s surprising Chelsea as well. They didn’t know how far he could go so soon.

“Chelsea came in to speak to us and talk about the loan and they’re delighted. Conor’s a good player. He’s going to be one to watch in the future.”

Meanwhile, Dillon Phillips gave “his best performance since I’ve been in charge,” according to the Charlton boss. The keeper made several crucial saves to give Charlton their hard-earned point.

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