Lee Bowyer’s unbeaten start as caretaker manager came to an end after Charlton lost 1-0 to AFC Wimbledon last night.

The Addicks suffered their first defeat in six games after Lyle Taylor capitalised on a Patrick Bauer error just before half-time. 

Here are five things we learned…

Charlton have made it hard for themselves

The Addicks are still sixth - and that’s the only positive to come from the AFC Wimbledon game. They are in the play-off places on goal difference.

“It’s in our hands”, said Bowyer in his post-match press conference - and he’s not wrong. However, Charlton play Scunthorpe, Shrewsbury, Portsmouth, Blackburn and Rochdale in their five remaining fixtures.

Aside from Rochdale, who are fighting for survival, the other four clubs are gunning for promotion. It’s a difficult run-in. The Addicks have put even more pressure on themselves by losing to relegation-threatened Wimbledon.

Nicky Ajose should have started

Stephy Mavididi was preferred to Ajose to partner Michal Zyro.

Prior to the Wimbledon defeat, Ajose had started all four of Bowyer’s games in charge, and while not scoring, his work-rate, runs off the ball and involvement in goals played a huge part in Charlton’s revival.

So it was harsh to see him drop to the bench in place of Mavididi, who is failing to match his January form.

The Arsenal loanee did not impress at Kingsmeadow and was hauled off in the 55th minute.

No shots on target against a struggling team is concerning

Barring Jason Pearce hitting the post with a header, Charlton’s attacking threat was non-existent.

The midfield were outrun and outmuscled by Liam Trotter and Tom Soares, which cut off service to Zyro and Mavididi.

And even when Charlton went long to the strike pair, their hold-up play was abysmal.

To not test a goalkeeper at this stage of the season with the Addicks’ attacking talent, it’s very worrying.

It’s too early to say “Bowyer’s honeymoon period is over”

It was a shocking result, losing to a team that had only tasted victory once in their last seven games, but Bowyer’s good work can’t be forgotten.

He has galvanised a squad low on confidence, introduced a new formation and moved the club into the top six in under a month.

AFC Wimbledon has been Charlton’s only poor performance under Bowyer. However, opinions on the caretaker boss could change if the Addicks lose to promotion rivals Scunthorpe on Saturday.

Bowyer must make changes for the Scunthorpe clash

Charlton are likely to drop out of the top six if they fail to beat Scunthorpe.

Sullay Kaikai and Mavididi were below par in the Wimbledon defeat, while Zyro is in need of a rest.

Mark Marshall and Josh Magennis are yet to start under Bowyer, who could hand a recall to Ajose.

Competition for places is strong at the moment - Marshall, Magennis and Ajose have a point to prove.

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