Lee Bowyer picks out AC Milan as favourite Leeds United moment and hails influence of George Graham
Lee Bowyer has revealed his fondest memory of his time at Leeds United and hailed the influence of former manager George Graham on his career.
The Charlton boss is preparing his side for a showdown against the Whites at The Valley this afternoon.
Bowyer, who spent seven years at Elland Road during his playing days, will take on United for the first time as a head coach.
The 42-year-old was a key player in the club's famous European exploits around the turn of the century as the Whites took on the likes of AC Milan and Barcelona in the Champions League.
Now, though, the former midfielder has picked out his most treasured memory from his spell in LS11.
“Leeds were the best side I played for – we were relentless and ruthless,” he said.
“My best memory was AC Milan. Scoring in the 91st minute and the place just erupted.
“We had the attitude we were never going to lose. When you have got that – and hard work – then you’ve got something special.
“We have got that here [at Charlton] as well. That is what I have tried to instil. It worked last season and we are doing okay this season as well. It helps when you have that attitude.”
Asked about the influence of former head coach Graham, he said: “He probably had the biggest effect development-wise on me.
"He was honest. He told you how it is – and he dropped me.
“He said: ‘You ain’t playing until you do the dirty side of the game. The hard work isn’t running forward, scoring and creating goals.’ He left me out for six to eight weeks.
“I respected what he was saying. He made me better.
“He was straight. That’s how I am – I don’t treat anyone differently. They all know where they stand."
Bowyer, though, insists that today's game isn't about a reunion with United's travelling support.
“It is not about me,” he stated.
“My job is to try and win Saturday. Nothing changes, that’s the way I am.
“Obviously I have got the utmost respect for them. I always will do. I had some great times, some unbelievable memories. The fans loved me when I was there and it was the same from me to them.”