An FA Cup first round replay against Mansfield Town may not be what Lee Bowyer wanted, but for one man it’s a blessing.

Billy Clarke came off the bench for Charlton in their 1-1 draw at the weekend after nearly a year on the side-lines with injury.

And with Charlton manager Bowyer saying he is likely to field the same side in the replay next week, as well as the Checkatrade Trophy match against Swansea on Tuesday, this means more game time for Clarke.

“It’s worked out alright for me,” said the 30-year-old Irishman.

“I’ll get more minutes, which is what I need. I’ll get up to speed quicker. I’m just delighted to be fully fit and travelling with the lads again.”

READ: Bowyer praises young stars after Mansfield draw

The ACL injury picked up at Blackburn last year was Clarke’s second after picking up a similar injury whilst at Blackpool in 2010.

“It’s been a long eleven months for me,” he said of his rehabilitation.

“I’d had the experience of doing it [the injury] previously and a lot of the stuff is just mind-numbing. Gym-based exercises that you can do easily but they just have to be done to strengthen all areas of the knee and get your knee working properly again."

Despite having played in under-23 matches the forward conceded he will need more minutes to get back to the level of League One football and the next tow fixtures provide an opportunity to do that.

“There’s an extra couple of games now that I’ll be looking to get involved in and every minute will help me to where I want to get to.

“I’m over the moon to be fully fit and back involved. I couldn’t wait to be back on the pitch.”

Bowyer Disappointed

Charlton forced a replay in the FA Cup first round after Toby Stevenson cancelled out CJ Hamilton’s opener on the stroke of half-time.

Bowyer didn’t share the same view as Clarke as he bemoaned an extra fixture on an injury hit squad.

Bowyer said: “I’m disappointed because the draw and the replay was the worst possible outcome, for me. Now we have a replay and them lads are having to play again on Tuesday, which is crazy.

“We are running out of numbers again, so these lads need to step up. We’re going to need everyone – I said that to them in the dressing room – and we’re going to need them to put their names forward to me through their performances.”