Jonathan Woodgate sang Lee Bowyer’s praises ahead of the former teammates showdown on Saturday.

Bowyer’s injury ravaged Charlton travel to Woodgate’s Middlesbrough looking to end a seven-game winless run, while Boro ended a ten-game winless run before last weekend’s 4-0 thrashing at Leeds United.

Trailing the Addicks by six points, Boro’s boss is aware of the importance of victory at the Riverside as he looks to edge his side away from the bottom three and close the gap on a Charlton side that have hit a rocky patch after an impressive start to the season.

He was full of admiration for the work his former Leeds and Newcastle United teammate has done at The Valley in the two years he’s been at the helm.

“He’s done a fantastic job,” Woodgate said.

“I watched him a couple of times last year, he had a really good team, really good players, had some really good loans in.

“He’s got some this year but it’s been a bit more difficult for him.

“He’s been up and around the play-offs, they’ve slipped of late, but Lee’s a really good manager and a really food person.”

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Boro Injuries

Much has been made of Charlton’s injury hit squad but Middlesbrough aren’t faring much better as they will be without Rudy Gestede, Marcus Browne, George Friend, Ryan Shotton, Darren Randolph and former Addick Anfernee Dijksteel through injury, while they’ll miss Paddy McNair and Marvin Johnson through suspension.

One influential man that will return for Boro is Britt Assambalonga.

Despite the depleted squad, Woodgate insisted he believed in his side and they wanted to bounce back from their last outing, a 4-0 drubbing at Elland Road.

“It’s difficult at times when you’re down the bottom of the league, playing against a good team like Leeds, but I’ve a group that will keep on fighting.

“Against Leeds you can’t analyse it too much, they’re a good team and were very good on the day and we just need to move on to Charlton.

“I wouldn’t be sat here if there wasn’t a belief in my players.

“They’re a good group of lads and I back them all the way, even though we’ve underperformed at times I’ll stick with them.”

READ: Addicks boss gives injruy update ahead of Boro clash