The connection between fans, players and management has never been closer at Charlton.

Over the past 12 months since Charlton’s disappointing exit to Shrewsbury in the play-off semi-final, the unity across both sides of the white line has strengthened.

One man who deserves a lot of credit for that, but won’t accept it, is manager Lee Bowyer.

The man who started his footballing career at The Valley in 1994 returned to the club in 2017 as Assistant Manager under Karl Robinson, and knew something needed to be done.

“When I left years ago as a player this was a great family club," a passionate Bowyer said.

“There was a real relationship between players and fans because the club had just moved back to The Valley.

'Party-Time' atmosphere had gone

“It was a 'party-time' atmosphere, and we had that bond with the fans.

“When I came back working under Karl, it wasn’t there.

“It was a shame because I know from experience from being at other clubs especially, what a big part fans play in football matches.

“I wanted them to include the fans in what we are doing, rebuilding the club and bringing it back to what I remember of it from when I left.

“To include them on this journey we were going to go on.

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“I knew we’d go on a journey, I told the players-“ There’ll be highs and there’ll be lows, it’ll be tough, but we’ll stick together.’

“I wanted to include the fans, and that’s what I’ve done.

“And it’s played a massive part.

“The atmosphere home and away has been exceptional.

“Other clubs have said our fans are a credit to the club and the reason I believe their like that is because they see the effort the players are putting in on the pitch.

“The players efforts have been unreal.

“So collectively, if you add those two things you become a bigger and tougher opposition, that’s why I made that such a big thing at the start of the season, because if you have that then you become a lot stronger.”

Bowyer passionate words continue to be echoed in the stands, with the club selling out it’s away allocation in Doncaster, as well as selling out the entire home section at The Valley for the return fixture a week Friday.


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