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Latics' great escape

12 April 2013

Manager views historic footage

Manager Lee Johnson has been viewing footage of Latics' great escape of 1993/94 when they won their last three games of the season to retain their Premier League status on goal difference in the most dramatic way imaginable.

Johnson, who was sent the internet link by a fan, is hoping Latics won't need to produce something similar in the current campaign to remain in npower League One.

He added that it is also a warning that the teams below them in League One could also pull off a Houdini-type escape.

Johnson (pictured) said: "I watched that little five to six-minute documentary and that showed what can happen as everybody was writing Oldham off and they came through it.

"It showed the spirit and history of the club which I enjoyed. The players gave it a go as we are doing, and I believe we can do it.

"We don't want to be the ones relaxing and thinking we have cracked it when there is no way we have done so.

As Latics prepare for tomorrow's derby at bottom-club Bury, Johnson knows his side's fate remains in its own hands.

Latics have five matches left and, possibly crucially, have played one less match than Scunthorpe United who occupy the last relegation place.

Johnson said: "It is a massive match and local derby but at the moment we are not at the stage of the season when it is the be and end all.

"This match will not seal our fate either way, but there is no getting away from the fact it is a big game.

"We know it is winnable if we are at our best, but Bury will be thinking they still have half a chance of getting out of trouble.

"Bury will be up for it, and it certainly won't be an easy game as they are fighting for their lives."

It was been a traumatic week for Bury as their serious financial troubles were revealed as they are seeking a £1million cash injection to secure the future of the club. 

Johnson was disappointed with the 2-0 defeat in midweek at Preston North End where he says Latics deserved better for their efforts for two third of the game.

Latics' manager is also convinced Latics wrongly had a goal disallowed when the game was goalless after viewing the incident again on DVD.

He said: "There was certainly no foul and, if anything, it was more a penalty for us than a foul as their keeper (Declan Rudd) came over the top of Jean-Yves M'voto who stood his ground and nodded it in.

"Such if life and these things happen when you are at the lower end of the table.

"We have to put it to one side and make sure we go into tomorrow's big game buzzing."

Johnson added the absence of Jose Baxter, who begins a two-match ban, will be a big loss as he has been their main goal threat.

He said: "It may be that we can tweak things here and there and bring out the best out of others.

"It is good in that it keeps the squad lively and we get to see whether other players can take the mantle and be the main man."

Johnson is hoping Latics' fans turn out in their droves at Gigg Lane to give the feel of a home game.

"The away support has been fantastic and it is important we have that again," he said.

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