Latics will be looking to build on back-to-back draws against Macclesfield and Stevenage to get maximum points when Carlisle come to Boundary Park tomorrow (3pm KO).
Dino Maamria will be boosted by the acquisition of prolific goalscorer Danny Rowe who is available for selection following his transfer from AFC Fylde. Carlisle also have the boost of a new signing with left back Nick Anderton signing up on an 18 month deal at Brunton Park from Blackpool.
Neither side go into the game in hot form with Oldham winless in five and still looking for the first victory of 2020, whilst the Cumbrians have just one win in their last eight games in all competitions despite a heroic FA Cup run.
Cumbrians’ last six:
- Carlisle United 0-0 Bradford City
- Walsall 1-2 Carlisle United
- Crewe Alexandra 4-1 Carlisle United
- Cardiff City 2-2 Carlisle United (FA Cup third round)
- Carlisle United 0-3 Plymouth Argyle
- Carlisle 3-4 Cardiff City (FA Cup third round replay)
Latics have won 27 of the 83 encounters between the two sides with the most recent of them coming in April 2014. When the two sides met earlier on in the season, an early goal from Olomola Olufela was enough to secure maximum points for the Cumbrians.
Carlisle United 0-1 Oldham Athletic – 26th April 2014
A James Dayton goal 20 minutes from time was enough for Oldham to get the win at Brunton Park. The result meant Latics were now eight unbeaten in the league and saw them rise to 15th in the League One table; a run that featured five clean sheets from the last seven.
On the other hand, this result meant that Carlisle were four points adrift of safety with just two games to go. They knew that defeat in their next fixture against Crawley would condemn them to the fourth tier.
League Story So Far
The Cumbrians enjoyed an encouraging start to the season, winning two of their first three games. However, in the 18 games that have passed since they have only managed three wins.
This means they are 21st in the Sky Bet League Two table just six points of the bottom of the league. Carlisle's last league victory came in the Christmas period; winning 2-1 away at Walsall.
The Blues would have been hoping to build on that impressive win but the league games since have seen the club beaten comfortable by Crewe Alexandra and Plymouth Argyle.
Carlisle are currently three points and three places behind Latics going into the fixture.
What We Said
Dino Maamria: "I hope we will win it and win it well, that would be nice, but as long as we win the game it doesn’t matter how we win it. We need the three points, I’m sure they do as well, they’re behind us in the table.
"We jumped a few places on Tuesday night, its encouraging but we’ve got to keep focusing forward and we have played Macclesfield, Stevenage and now Carlisle who are all teams around us. We know that we are capable of beating them and capable of playing better than them and we can’t take that for granted or underestimate them or overestimate them."
What They Said
Head Coach, Chris Beech said: "The honesty and hard work we saw against Cardiff, you can’t do anything but say well done. What we’ve done since is look to recover as well as we possibly could to make sure we’re full-tilt on Saturday.
"Our aim will to be to hit the same energy levels if we can" he added. "We’ll prepare to do it but you never know, that’s the great sport we work in, it’s so unpredictable, unless you've got Man City’s budget and it's pretty controllable.
"The traits we saw on Wednesday are an example of what we're after, but it's the consistency in hitting that point that we need. Oldham will be another test because we'll need the players to be on their game as a team again.
"It's a difficult place to go but it's another game where we can show more of the improvements that have been there since I came in 10 games ago. The message after the Cardiff game to the players was that you've earned respect, well done for your hard work, recover well, deal with your disappointment, but move forwards. Move forwards."
Current Academy Manager Paul Murray has played for both clubs.
The 43-year-old began his career with the Cumbrians as a local lad making 41 league appearances before leaving for Queens Park Rangers on loan and later permanently. He then had a brief spell at Southampton before making the trip north to Boundary Park to join Latics. He spent three years with the club, scoring 15 league goals in the process before leaving for Portuguese club Beira-Mar.
After two seasons with the Portuguese outfit, Murray returned to Carlisle United with the club still fresh from winning promotion to League One. Following release from Brunton Park, Murray went on to play for Gretna, Shrewsbury Town and Hartlepool United. His last club was a second spell at Oldham signing a contract till the end of the 2012-13 season after being released midway through the season by Hartlepool United. During his career, Murray made four appearances for England U21s and played once for England B.
Murray has also represented both clubs on the coaching staff as well as on the pitch. He began his coaching career at Boundary Park and went from there to manager of Hartlepool United which did not go as well and he was dismissed just six weeks into his reign. He has had roles at Barrow and Fleetwood before finally returning to Brunton Park in 2018 to take on the role of first team coach.
Watch Out For
Harry McKirdy is fresh from scoring a brace against Championship side Cardiff City in midweek and Maamria’s men will have to ensure the midfielder doesn’t have the same joy at Boundary Park.
McKirdy played for Stoke City and Aston Villa at youth level but during his time with the Villians he did not manage to feature and was loaned out to Stevenage, Crewe Alexandra and Newport County while contracted at Villa Park. After release from Villa, McKirdy joined up with Carlisle United in June 2019.
The 22-year-old has been a success at Brunton Park and has doubled his league goal tally this season already, managing five. McKirdy has also impressed in the FA Cup where he scored five in five before losing out to Cardiff in the third-round replay.
McKirdy was a key part of the Carlisle side that triumphed over Latics earlier on in the season, grabbing the assist for the Cumbrians’ third minute winner.
In The Dugout
Chris Beech is the man in the dugout for the Cumbrians.
It is the 45-year-old’s second management job and first permanent post following his caretaker reign as boss of Rochdale. Beech was appointed as Head Coach of Carlisle United on the 26th November 2019.
During his playing career, Beech played for Blackpool, Hartlepool United, Huddersfield Town and Rochdale.
Robert Lewis will take charge of the game again.
Lewis has officiated 20 games so far this season, handing out 75 yellow cards and four reds.
He was last in the middle for an Oldham fixture at the end of October in the goalless encounter at Port Vale, where two yellows were handed out that day.
Steven Rushton and Geoffrey Liddle will assist the referee, with Lewis Smith as the fourth official.
Sky Bet Odds
Oldham Athletic are priced at 21/20 to beat Carlisle United in the Sky Bet League Two fixture.
The hosts are priced at 12/5 and a draw can also be found at 12/5.
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How To Follow The Game
If you can't attend the fixture in person at Boundary Park, live commentary is available for all subscribers on iFollow Latics with Mike Leyland and Roy Butterworth who will be talking you through the match.
The iFollow video match pass is only available for overseas residents.
Alternatively, supporters can also follow the game with live updates on the club's official Twitter account: @OfficialOAFC.
All ticket information can be found by clicking here. Please note the away stand (Chadderton Road End) is cashless entry only, with tickets being able to be purchased direct from the Ticket Office on Furtherwood Road.
A reminder that supporters who have purchased half-season tickets, these are valid from this game onwards. More details are available by clicking the below image.