Charlton boss Lee Bowyer on how he plans to 'turn' things against Millwall at The Den

CHARLTON manager Lee Bowyer believes keeping possession of the ball could frustrate Millwall and help “turn” an “intimidating” atmosphere into an advantage for his side.

Bowyer leads the Addicks into the Den furnace for the first time as Charlton boss, with his side four points ahead of Millwall in the Championship.

"The first goal is going to be massive,” Bowyer told Charlton’s official website. “It’s going to be intimidating, but we can turn the atmosphere into a positive.

"So even though we're playing away like we did last season at Portsmouth – it was intimidating there with the atmosphere that the Portsmouth fans make – we know that our fans will be singing.

"Millwall are probably going to be doing a bit more than singing, knowing them! But if we can take control of the ball and look a threat then things can easily turn.”

Charlton are trying to beat Millwall for the first time since March 1996, when Bowyer scored in a 2-0 win at The Valley.

"They mean everything. Winning is important but these types of games – the local derbies – they were a big part of why you played with the atmosphere and the occasion,” Bowyer continued. “And, since I’ve been in charge, in these sorts of games we’ve stood up and matched our opposition.

"I think it’s a good time for this game to come around.

"Maybe I’m a good omen because we played them twice that season [1995-96] and beat them twice.

“Hopefully we can get the same result again and then maybe our fans can walk around with the bragging rights for 20-odd years."

Aiden O'Brien and Steve Morison (twice) scored in Millwall's 3-1 win over Charlton in December 1996

Charlton defender Tom Lockyer, who experienced the Bristol derby for Rovers against City, echoed his manager’s sentiments.

"I’ve played in this, I know what it’s like,” he said. “Obviously the most important thing is the three points. We want to give our fans a good journey home and to have those bragging rights.

“The fans have been great for us, travelling up and down the country so hopefully on Saturday we can repay them for all their efforts."

“I was fortunate to be involved in a Bristol derby – that was a bit nuts. Speaking to Charlton fans, the game against Millwall sounds like it will be the same. Any derby is going to be massive and it would be nice to give back to the fans.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly