Lyle Taylor has explained and defended his decision not to extend his Charlton contract to the end of the current season.
Charlton manager Lee Bowyer confirmed that top scorer Taylor, as well as Chris Solly and David Davis, will not play when the season resumes on June 20.
In the case of Taylor, the fact his contract was already expiring meant that he did not wish to risk injury in the final games of the season, particularly considering Swansea, West Brom, Sheffield Wednesday, Rangers and Galatasaray have been linked.
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His decision to abstain from playing in Charlton’s relegation battle has not been well received but the 30-year-old realises he will not get “sympathy” from the supporters.
“I’ve sat in my living room staring at a blank TV screen for hours on end these last few weeks,” he told Sky Sports. “I’ve not eaten or slept properly. I’ve been up ’til 5am listening to the birds chirping thinking about it.
“Then I finally came to the decision together with the manager that he has openly spoken about. He said to me ‘Lyle I can see how cut up this has made you’. But this is a time nobody has had to deal with before – lockdown has been difficult for everyone.
“I’m gutted at the way it’s finishing, but I don’t expect people to care. I know that once the damage is done it’s irreparable and I don’t really expect any sympathy.
“We are the first ones able to go back so that’s difficult for footballers and football clubs. My reasons and concerns stem from my knee injury – it plays on the mind.
“It makes me think what would happen if I had an injury now that threatened the rest of my career. I’ll be honest with you, it scared the life out of me.
“That’s my honest reasoning. I know it won’t sit well with people but it’s been a very had decision to make.
“I want to play to keep this team in the league; we have worked so hard to get here. But there is something in the back of my head that says if you get a serious injury the chance you have worked and dreamed of since you were six-years-old is gone. I’m not 26 or 27 – I’m 30 years old. The way I play, it puts me in positions that I could get seriously injured at any time.
“I hope people can look at this and not hate me. I’d like to think people will listen to this with more of an open mind and look into my journey and where I’ve came from.”
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“I’m sure not many people will be sympathetic simply because I do the job that I do. I’m not okay with that but I’ll have to live with that.
“But this is a special set of circumstances and I’ll maybe have to think about looking about myself, my body and my livelihood this time.
“I have to be maybe a little more worried about myself and my future than what someone else feels they can say about me on radio, TV or social media.”
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