Lee Bowyer reveals ‘hurt’ at Charlton trio’s refusal to play remaining Championship matches, but says he has moved on
Lee Bowyer has revealed he was ‘hurt’ by the refusal of his Charlton players to play the remaining Championship matches of the 2019/20 season.
Top scorer Lyle Taylor, club captain Chris Solly and Birmingham loanee David Davis did not return to the Addicks’ training base ahead of the resumption of England’s second tier in May.
Taylor and Solly officially left the club after two and 11 years, respectively, on Tuesday – and Bowyer insists their decision not to play is in the past.
The Addicks boss, whose side are unbeaten in three matches, told talkSPORT: “Once that got announced, then I had to move on and focus on the group I had.
“The group I have, I know they’ll always give 100 per cent to the club and that’s the most important thing for me.
“We haven’t looked back at that, that’s in the past and the players that have stepped in are doing really well and fighting for the cause. It’s old news for me, that.
“I was hurt, but it’s one of those situations where if we didn’t have the pandemic they would have finished the season, I have no doubt.
“So it’s a difficult situation for all the players, they all had their reasons why they didn’t want to play.
“Did I understand it? Yes, I did to a certain extent. But did it hurt? Yes, of course it did, because I believe once you start something, you finish it.
“They made their decision and then we moved on from that. I’m not really bothered about that anymore. Once that was dealt with, I moved on very quickly.”
Charlton have beaten Hull and QPR, while drawing with promotion hopefuls Cardiff since the Championship returned last month.
It has moved the Addicks up to 18th place in the table and four points clear of the relegation zone.
Bowyer added: “We’re ahead of schedule at the moment, but there are still a lot of things to play for. We’ve got some tough games.
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“Last night [a goalless draw at Cardiff] was really tough and now we’ve got Millwall on Friday, which is crazy.
“Tuesday to Friday, as if it isn’t hard enough Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday, they’ve brought this one forward to Friday. Three games in six days is crazy.
“Then we go away to Brentford after Millwall, so we have another tough two games coming up.
“We’ll work hard to try to find a way to get more points on the table.”