Lee Bowyer breathed a sigh of relief as all of Charlton’s international players returned fit and raring to go for the weekend tie with Derby.

Having lost Lyle Taylor during the last international break, Charlton could ill-afford to lose another influential player with a busy Championship schedule on the horizon.

One player who fits into that category is Wales’s Jonny Williams.

The former Crystal Palace man has been in scintillating form for the Addicks this term, upping his creative game since the loss of the irreplaceable Taylor.

His form saw Welsh boss Ryan Giggs start the attacker in both European qualifiers against Slovakia and Croatia last week, a stark contrast to the player that was left in the international wilderness last season.

Bowyer spoke with pride seeing Williams not only make a return to international football, but win the plaudits of media and critics for his display against current Ballon D’Or holder Luka Modric in the 1-1 draw in Cardiff on Sunday.

“I watched the game and it was a proud moment,” Bowyer said.

“He’s deserved it.

“The reason why he’s there is not about ability, he’s always had that, but his work rate has changed and that’s what made him noticable.

“Would you say this time last year that you saw Jonny Williams running back, tackling, doing the dirty side of game?!

“He didn’t do that, what he did the other day against Modric was something he probably never done before.

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“For him as a person to take on board what I said to him, that’s what got him back in the Welsh squad.

“He had the ability but he wasn’t in the Welsh squad, so to be playing an starting, he’s come on leaps and bounds.

“Jonny has become more of an all-round player.

“Great with the ball, but he’s defending and winning it for the team.”

“I’m really proud of him.”

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Bowyer also spoke of his pleasure of seeing Williams’s Charlton and Wales teammate Tom Lockyer getting his first competitive caps and spoke of the importance the club played in his development.

“When we brought Tom in he was playing for Bristol Rovers, now he’s starting for his country in a qualifier.

“Me selling the club to Tom in the summer was me saying our job was to get him into the national starting 11 and that’s what we’ve done.

“It’s down to hard work.

“I spoke to them both and told them I’m really proud of them.”

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READ:Addicks boss gives positive update on Lyle Taylor injury