Charlton boss expecting a 'hostile' reception from Sunderland supporters in League One opener
Charlton Athletic manager Lee Bowyer is expecting a hostile reception from Sunderland fans - but believes his player will flourish in the atmosphere.
The former Newcastle midfielder, who remains in the dugout at The Valley despite takeover speculation, knows that Sunderland's vocal home support will provide an intimidating atmosphere.
Bowyer remains without several first team players after an injury crisis gripped the Addicks, but is backing his squad to embrace the trip to Wearside and come away with three points.
However, the 41-year-old is under no illusions as to the kind of challenge that the Black Cats will pose - especially given their higher-standing in the football pyramid over recent years.
LIVE: Sunderland deals are 'very close' - plus the latest from League OneWhen asked what kind of challenge Sunderland would be, Bowyer told Charlton's official website: “A big one.
"They’ve made quite a few signings and they obviously had a Championship squad beforehand so it’s going to be tough obviously going up there.
"They’ve got a big crowd, a good crowd. I played there myself, it’s quite a hostile place but I think our lads will embrace that.
MORE: Charlie Methven issues rallying call as Sunderland target attendance record"It’s going to be tough, they’ve been in the Championship and the Premier League but it’s a game of football and the best team on the day will win."
Charlton could be without several of their key players for their visit to the North East after what Bowyer describes as some 'freak injuries'.
But the Charlton boss is keen to remove that as an excuse and knows that the players that are ready are fully prepared for the challenge.
LIVE: Sunderland deals are 'very close' - plus the latest from League One“We’re as ready as we’ll ever be," he added.
"Obviously there are a few things that we’d like to change but are out of our hands regarding injuries.
"It’s been a bit unfortunate since we’ve played the games we’ve picked up some freak injuries but that’s just the way it goes you can’t control that but everybody that is fit and well are definitely ready.”