Lee Bowyer has Sunderland in his sights on way to eventual Premier League reunion with Newcastle
Sometimes the most unlikely players make decent managers and Lee Bowyer is showing signs he could be one of them.
The former Newcastle United midfielder took over at Charlton in March 2018.
A thankless task in many people’s eyes considering their owner Roland Duchatelet almost makes Mike Ashley look like a decent club owner…
Despite the chaos at the club, Lee Bowyer got Charlton to the League One play-offs two months later, where they lost to Shrewsbury in the semis.
Now he has repeated the trick this season after somehow getting them to third in the table.
Against the backdrop of a continuing shambles due to the owner, Lee Bowyer has now guided Charlton to only one step away from the Championship.
Leading 2-1 from the first leg, a packed Valley saw a nervous night end in their favour, eventually. Doncaster ‘won’ 2-1 in 90 minutes to make the aggregate 3-3 and then a goal each saw the scores 4-4 after extra time (no away goals count double rule). Charlton winning 4-3 on penalties.
Only Sunderland to get past now at Wembley, bringing back memories of that 1998 classic, starring Michael Gray.
Lee Bowyer doesn’t even know if he will still be manager of Charlton, as his contract hasn’t been sorted beyond this season.
However, Lee Bowyer is already dreaming of a reunion with Newcastle in the Premier League, believing Charlton have many of the ingredients needed to hold their own in the top tier, never mind the Championship (if they can get a new owner….): ‘You just need to be brave and this club could easily get back to the Premier League.’
Bowyer was signed by Sir Bobby Robson in 2003 on a free transfer from West Ham after they were relegated and was there throughout the disastrous Graeme Souness reign, before heading back to West Ham in 2006.
Charlton will meet Sunderland on Sunday 26 May at Wembley.
Play-off finals dates:
League Two Play-Off Final – Saturday 25 May 2019
League One Play-Off Final – Sunday 26 May 2019
Championship Play-Off Final – Monday 27 May 2019
“The mood is the best since I have been here by a million miles.
“When I first came in it was difficult.
“One of the things I wanted to do was get The Valley full again and get everybody back being part of this journey.
“Since I have been in charge, it has been a special place. Everybody is happy and enjoying the football.
“The potential here is massive. This club should be in the Premier League. Everything is there: the training ground, the facilities, everything.
“I understand it is difficult to run a club, but this is different. You are in London, all the potential is there.
“You just need to be brave and this club could easily get back to the Premier League.”
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]