Lee Bowyer compares Charlton to his 2001 Leeds side
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By Joe Tanner
Last Updated: 24/05/19 4:45pm
Lee Bowyer says his Charlton team have a similar mentality to that of the Leeds team who reached the Champions League semi-finals.
Charlton could seal their return to the Championship with a win against the Black Cats after a three-season absence from English football's second tier.
Bowyer came through the ranks as an academy player at The Valley - making 46 appearances and scoring eight goals before joining Leeds in 1996 for a £3.8m fee.
The 42-year-old former midfielder featured in the Leeds side of Harry Kewell, Mark Viduka and Rio Ferdinand that reached the Champions League semi-finals in 2001.
Bowyer said: "I've played in a similar side to that at Leeds; we did well because we were a team.
"I've let the lads know from day one that we won't carry anyone who will play for themselves as an individual.
"The group we've put together is an exceptional and unique group, and I've said that for a long time now."
Promotion contenders Charlton and Sunderland play each other almost 21 years to the day since their famous 1998 Wembley encounter, which saw the south London club reach the Premier League for the first time.
Charlton defeated Doncaster 4-3 on penalties after it finished 4-4 on aggregate over two legs, sparking jubilant scenes after the second leg win.
Bowyer, who has been in charge at The Valley since 2017, is ensuring his team are keeping level heads ahead of the Wembley final.
"It's still a game of football between two teams, nothing changes there," he said.
"It's looking at their strengths and weaknesses, making sure we put the right side out, and that everyone is ready physically and mentally.
"Whoever is chosen on Sunday, I know they won't let me down."