Charlton Athletic boss explains why he thinks Sunderland will be favourites for League One play-off final

Lee Bowyer believes that Sunderland's record against Charlton Athletic this season, as well as their trip to Wembley in March, will make them favourites for the League One play-off final

Saturday, 18th May 2019, 8:34 am
Luke O'Nien scores at the Valley earlier this season

The two sides will meet at 3pm next Sunday after Bowyer's side edged out Doncaster Rovers on Friday night following a penalty shootout.

Bowyer admitted that he went into to the away dressing room after the game to praise them, such was the level of their performance at the Valley.

The former Newcastle United midfielder, who had backed Portsmouth to edge past the Black Cats in the other semi final, nevertheless remains bullish about his side's chances.

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"They’ll go in to it as favourites," Bowyer said.

“We haven’t beaten them this season.

“We gave them a good run at theirs with a small squad.

“We drew here but I thought we were better here.

“They’ve an advantage having played at Wembley already this season, but I know we’ll turn up and give everything," he added.

“With these fans behind us it unique what we’ve built in 18 months.

“Sunderland aren’t going to turn up and think it’ll be easy, they’ll respect us and we'll respect them.”

Bowyer spoke of his pride at the the way his team have overcome off-field issues to make it to Wembley.

“I’m proud of the way that things have gone, especially this season,” he said.

“To take this club, this group of unique players, to walk them out with our fans at Wembley will be a very emotional time for me.

“It’s going to be a proud day.”