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In Opposition: Oldham Athletic

U's travel to Boundary Park for Friday night football

7 April 2021

With six games to go Oldham Athletic have recovered from a mid-season wobble to move clear of the relegation battle at the foot of the Sky Bet League Two table.

Manager - Keith Curle

Top Scorer(s) - Conor McAleny (18)

Last Result - Crawley Town 1-4 Oldham Athletic 05/04/2021

There are just two teams in Sky Bet League two that have out-scored Oldham Athletic this season. The Latics have hit the back of the net fifty-nine times, only beaten by Cambridge United and Exeter City's tally of sixty. 

But the problems at Boundary Park haven't been up front, with no team shipping more goals than Keith Curle's side. Conceding sixty-six goals in forty games, Oldham have let in nine more than the next leakiest defence in bottom of the table Grimsby Town. 

The form of the Latics since Curle's appointment at the start of March has been decidedly average, with two wins, three draws and three losses.

In the Latics' last match, Curle's side showed for perhaps the first time under his stewardship why they have hit so many goals this season. Totalling twenty-seven shots, fourteen on target, Oldham came out 4-1 winners on the road at Crawley Town, their biggest win in the league this season. 

Speaking after his team's victory on Easter Monday, Curle was complimentary of the performance from the Latics. 

KIETH CURLE WEB.jpg

"We are a forward thinking team. We want to have posession, but we want a forward threat." - Keith Curle

"We are picking up ideas and trying to play to our strengths. We made Crawley look very static at times and there was a lot of solidity about our shape. 

"There were lots of positives to take, but there are still things we need to better as a group. We don't want to have possession with no direction and a lot of the work we have been doing over the last few days has been about being able to retain possession as a team. 

"Credit to the group even though the recent results that we've had, we've taken the positives out of it. There's still more to come from the group, individually and collectively."

Following Curle's appointment, the Latics have switched to a 3-4-3 formation with David Keillor-Dunn leading the front three, with top scorer Conor McAleny and Dylan Bahamboula playing either side. 

McAleny's fourteen league goals this season put him seventh in the scoring charts for Sky Bet League Two, including a brace in the last fixture for the Latics, as well as a brace against Colchester United earlier in the season. 

Former Manchester United youth player Callum Whelan has started all but one games for Oldham since Curle arrived at the club. With thirty-two appearances to his name so far this season, the central midfielder has been an anchor in the middle of the pitch, with the abillity to drive the ball forwards as well as breaking up play when neccesary. 

Sitting at the heart of the back three, former Salford City defender Carl Piergianni is the other goalscorer from the 3-3 draw with Colchester United this season. The centre-half has thirty-nine appearances for Oldham this season, including playing every game for Kieth Curle. 

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