Doncaster Rovers: Charlton boss Lee Bowyer claims tactical victory in play-off first leg
Charlton Athletic boss Lee Bowyer says his tactics helped ‘nullify’ Doncaster Rovers in the first leg of their League One play-off semi-final.
The Addicks, who lead 2-1 going into Friday night’s return leg at The Valley, had been expected to start with a 4-4-2 midfield diamond but instead lined up in a 3-5-2 formation.
“When we played them here [in March] they kept hitting us on the break, we were our worst enemy really,” said Bowyer.
“When we were in possession they just hit us on the break so we had to nullify that.
“We have to respect whoever we play against.
“Every team has got strengths and weaknesses, so we had to change it and play three at the back and for me it worked.”
Goals from Lyle Taylor and Joe Aribo put Charlton firmly in the driving seat – until Matty Blair halved the deficit with an 87th minute header.
Bowyer said: “If you’d have said to me that we’re going to be going back to The Valley with a one goal lead then I would have bitten your hand off. My lads gave me everything and put their bodies on the line.
“It was disappointing to concede at the end because I think we worked so hard and we shut up shop well.
“They didn’t really get too many chances. Their threats we nullified them.
“It’s disappointing to concede at the end after all the hard work and the effort the lads had put in but the positive side is that we’re going back home with a one goal lead.”