Lee Bowyer has hailed Darren Pratley as Charlton ensured their return to the Championship began with a win at Blackburn Rovers.

The 34-year-old was asked to mark Bradley Dack, a former Charlton youngster, throughout as the Addicks weathered the storm of Rovers’ attacking threats.

After Ben Purrington opened the scoring on 42 minutes, a Dillon Phillips own goal levelled the scores before Lyle Taylor replenished Charlton’s lead late on.

Bowyer was delighted with everyone’s performances, “from back to front”, but reserved special praise for Pratley in the Championship opener.

He said: “The boys were unreal, from start to finish. I said to them, 'Go out there today and give me everything and prove to everyone that this is where you should be', because a lot of people are doubting us and we're favourites to go down.

“But with the group I have - like I've said many, many times last season - they will just keep fighting and battling, and we have quality as well.

“I just said to them we didn't even play as well as we can. In possession, I thought we were giving it away more than what we would normally. Defensively, I thought we were solid.

“Tactically, we got it right. Okay, they had possession but we're away from home and they are the home side. They are a good side, don't forget they finished around mid-table last season.

“They have players that can hurt you and we had to respect that. I felt Darren Pratley was unreal today, unbelievable. His experience just shone and I gave him a job to mark Dack because Dack hurts you, and he'd  [Pratley] done that so well.

“I said to them, 'You should all be proud of yourselves, you've gone out there today and you've proven that you deserve to be in this division'.”

Favourites to go down, Charlton’s victory at Ewood Park will have raised a few eyebrows. Particularly given Bowyer’s desire to add more players before the window shuts.

But where Blackburn failed to be more clinical, with their equaliser having a touch of fortune, Charlton took their opportunities when they came.

Bowyer added: “Ben did unreal. He won it on the edge of his box, ran most of the length of pitch and then Jonny Williams, great bit of magic, and picked him out at the far post.

“All of them, from back to front, I thought they were all outstanding.

“And the goal they scored, it's come off the back of Dil's head! They've not scored a 'normal' goal, if you like, but I don't think we rode our luck or anything.

“There are not many saves that Dillon had to make so I just thought it was a good, solid away performance and I thought we deserved the win.

“Like I said earlier on in the week, what we have [in fighting spirit] would give us 10 points over the season and it's given us three today.

“They always believe, 'We're going to win', because that's what we've done. We've drummed it into them, you don't lose. There are going to be times where we lose at home, lose away, but it won't be through lack of effort.”