Lee Bowyer on a ‘crazy’ play-off final, THAT Charlton own goal and how his side overcame Sunderland
Lee Bowyer believes Charlton’s character was key as his side triumphed over Sunderland at Wembley - after a freak opening to the play-off clash.`
The Addicks fell behind early on in bizarre circumstances as Naby Sarr’s backpass was missed by Dillon Phillips - handing the Black Cats the advantage.
And Bowyer was pleased with how his side responded to that setback as they claimed promotion back to the Championship.
“It was a crazy game, wasn’t it?,” said the Charlton boss.
“Nothing is ever straight-forward with us. Obviously there was the mistake early on, and I’ve never really seen that before - especially in a final.
“But what I’ll say is that it shows the character of the players that we’ve put together.
“I’ve been saying all season that we’ve got a unique group of players and I’ve said it so many times.
“They could have gone under there, after we gave that goal away, but they didn’t. They were brave, and you have to be brave and be a man to get on the ball after you’ve had a mistake like that.
“And then I think once we settled down ourselves, because we were really nervy in the beginning, and passed the ball I thought we controlled big parts of the game.”
Bowyer was quick to praise the attitude of several of the Addicks’ youngsters, who he felt quickly grew into the game on the big stage and showed maturity beyond their years.
There was special praise for Phillips, though, who looked solid following his early error.
“It’s one of those things - it’s a mistake,” added Bowyer.
“The only thing is when you’re a goalie and you make a mistake, it usually ends in a goal.
“All the players make mistakes, Dillon’s has just ended up in the back of the net.
“That will make him stronger as a person because there was nowhere for him to go, nowhere to hide.
“A lot of those young lads, they had to become men today to come from behind against a good Sunderland side.”