While automatic promotion now looks unlikely for Charlton Athletic, the south London club still have a great chance of making it to the Championship as they continue to sit pretty in the play-off positions.
Overall, it has been a good season for Lee Bowyer’s men, though the 42-year-old cannot help but think how differently things could have gone had Karlan Grant remained at The Valley.
The English centre-forward, of course, left Charlton for Premier League strugglers Huddersfield Town back in January, and Bowyer believes such a move has cost his side an automatic promotion spot.
“I know we’d be top two if he [Grant] was still here,” the Charlton boss told South London Press earlier this month.
“We were only a few points off second when he left. Since he has gone we have drawn a few games. If he’d played for us on Saturday [at Bristol Rovers] then we’d definitely have created more chances and he’d probably have taken one of them or set one up for Lyle [Taylor].
“He’s been a massive loss, you can’t deny that. The kid causes problems and scores goals. That’s what he does. He did that for us.”
It is a fair point to raise with Charlton having clearly been unable to make up for that loss of firepower, though Taylor has continued to lead the line well since Grant’s move to English football’s top flight.
Still, with the likes of Portsmouth and Sunderland also potentially making the play-offs, Bowyer would have been desperate to have the Addicks sitting where Lutton Town and Barnsley are.
The former England international, however, can take confidence from his side’s two victories against Portsmouth in the league.
But if Charlton are not able to overcome Kenny Jackett’s men or any other outfit in the play-offs, then Bowyer will surely view Grant’s exit as being the defining moment in a campaign that promised so much.
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