Oldham Athletic manager Keith Curle has urged his players to keep their attention solely on football matters. The Latics have seen several games disrupted by fan protests this season including last weekend’s defeat at home to Barrow. Curle’s men travel to East London to face Orient with Curle stating to oldhamtimes “I need the players to maintain focus, keep believing in what we are doing, keep believing in the process and not go into a shel and not want to perform”.
The Lactics fell to their fifth defeat in six league games against Barrow, Goals from Ollie Banks, Offrande Zanzala and Joe Grayson left Oldham sitting in 23rd in League Two. Curle stated to BBC Radio Manchester “I know their are underlying issues at the football club but we know we have let the fans down with that performance level”.
Disruption in the second half caused a stoppage in play against Barrow with continued unrest growing regarding owner Abdallah Lemsagam. Ticketing issues for the next few games was announced in midweek but Orient stepped in allowing “pay on the day” for the traveling Lactics fans. Despite the turmoil surrounding the club, Curle insists they will come out the other side. Speaking to Oldham Times “at the minute we are in a very dificult situation on the pitch and off the pitch – players, supporters, ownership but we will get through it. I guarantee you we will get through it”.
Saturday’s defeat to Barrow left the Lactics on three points equalling their worse start to a season after five games since 2017/2018. Away from the toxic enviornment of Boundary Park Curle highlights his side need to turn around the negativity. Speaking to Oldham Times “It’s difficult but you’ve got to be able to use the negativity and turn it into a positive and be energised by it and that’s what we are trying to instill this week”.
Despite the Oldham fans calling Lemsagam to sell, the Oldham owner issued an open letter this week stating he isn’t looking to sell the club. In his letter he stated “I have made many mistakes I took over in 2018 but that I am not leaving, I am not selling. I accept that mistakes have been made. Each mistake has been honestly and with an intention to help the club I have never done anything intentionally to hurt the club, I never would”.
The Lactics haven’t won at Brisbane Road since 2011 but Curle is keen for his side to improve their performances on the pitch. Speaking to Oldham Times “it’s been about creating the focus of what we are doing on the pitch. Individually and collectivity we are here to do a job and we’ve got to do it better than results show at the minute”.
Ouss Cisse, Jamie Hopcutt, Danny Rogers and Sam Hart are all still sidelined through injury. Dylan Bahamboula is still set to be unavailable due to Covid quarantine rules. Curle stated to Oldham Times on the injury list “we had seven players out injured, one away on international duty and one injured at half time. You take nine players out of any team at this level and they are going to struggle”.
Head to Head – Oldham 26, Draw 20, Leyton Orient 21
Oldham have only won one of the last 10 meetings – W1 D5 L4
Oldham are winless in their last nine league games against Orient – D5 L4