Lee Bowyer predicts a 'nervy' play-off final with Sunderland - but backs his Charlton side to shine
Lee Bowyer has backed his Charlton Athletic players to overcome their Wembley nerves and impress against Sunderland.
The Addicks sealed their place in the League One play-off final courtesy of a penalty shoot-out triumph over Doncaster Rovers, and will face-off against the Black Cats.
It was far from a vintage performance from Bowyer's troops, who fell to a 3-2 defeat on the night in what was pressurised environment.
And while the pressure will be drastically increased at Wembley, the Charlton boss believes his side will battle through a 'nervy' start against Sunderland.
"I thought they coped really well tonight," said Bowyer, speaking to London News Online.
"I thought they were nervy a few times tonight in possession – normally we pass a lot better than that.
“We gave away the ball more than we have in a long time.
“But I’m sure once they walk on the pitch and take it all in, I’m sure they’ll be nervy the first few minutes, but it ends up being a game of football. Nothing really changes."
And the Charlton boss, who has excelled in his first managerial role, believes the significance of his side reaching Wembley should not be understated.
He added: “What we’ve achieved tonight is massive – so big.
"No-one tipped us to be in the top six and now we’re going to Wembley. We’ve filled the stadium, which hasn’t been filled for so many years.
“The job that me, my staff and players are doing is really good.
“I’m emotional and very proud.”