Charlton gunning for top two as Lee Bowyer fires warning to Portsmouth and Sunderland

Charlton boss Lee Bowyer is increasingly confident his team can gain a League One automatic promotion place.

Sunday, 6th January 2019, 4:10 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 2:32 pm
Charlton boss Lee Bowyer has sent out a warning to Pompey manager Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

A strong performance from the Addicks saw them hit back to draw 1-1 with Sunderland in on Saturday.

It was a game Charlton could have won.

Reece James' second-half own goal cancelled Luke O'Nien's early Sunderland opener.

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Then Charlton were the dominant force in the League One match as they pushed for a winner.

They are expecting to bring in reinforcements in the January transfer window as well.

Manager Bowyer has full faith his side will push leaders Pompey, second-placed Luton and third-placed Sunderland in the race for the automatic positions.

He told the Sunderland Echo: '˜I still believe now we will finish top two.

'˜I still do because now we are only going to get stronger, we will probably bring in another couple of players through the window, we will get stronger as more players come back.

'˜There is nothing to stop us winning the next six, seven, eight, 10 games. Nothing.

'˜I believe in them, we have been on runs before and believe we will do it again.

'˜We've done that (fought back to draw on Saturday) with a weakened side again.

'˜It just shows you, if we can get a few more bodies back then we've got a very good chance on going on a very good run.'

Sunderland made the perfect start when James' second-minute cross picked out the unmarked O'Nien at the back post and he volleyed powerfully past Dillon Phillips.

Aiden McGeady and Max Power both saw attempts from outside the box go just off target as the visitors continued to dominate the early exchanges.

Charlie Wyke should have done better when he shot well wide from inside the box despite having plenty of time and space.

The former Bradford striker went close again moments later when he headed agonisingly over, after Lynden Gooch's initial shot cannoned back off the bar.

Charlton were almost back on terms a minute before the break but Kyrstian Bielik's 20-yard volley flew behind.

They did draw level five minutes after the interval however, after the unfortunately-placed James converted Lyle Taylor's low cross into his own net.

Lee Bowyer's Addicks were now in the ascendancy and should have moved in front when Tariqe Fosu whipped in a dangerous free-kick but Darren Pratley headed inches wide.

Black Cats keeper Jon McLaughlin saved with his leg to deny Taylor and Karlan Grant failed to tap home from close range after meeting Anfernee Dijksteel's delivery.

McGeady and Duncan Watmore both tested Phillips at the other end, while Taylor's cross nearly dipped in as a relieved McLaughlin looked on.

Watmore almost snatched it for Jack Ross' Sunderland deep into stoppage time but blazed wildly over.

In the end there was nothing to separate the two promotion chasers in what was a very entertaining encounter.

Meanwhile, Coventry saw their play-off hopes dented by a 2-1 defeat at Scunthorpe who moved up to 17th.

Conor Chaplin scored for the visitors in the 78th minute but it was too late to earn a point.

The striker, who had made his switch permanent from Pompey before the game, made the most of a lapse in the home defence to nod home from inside the six-yard box.

Burton hammered hosts Rochdale 4-0 to climb up to ninth position.

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