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Two-day break for players

5 April 2013

Time to recharge batteries for run in

Lee Johnson is hoping Latics' players return refreshed after a two-day break for tomorrow's important npower League One match against Carlisle United at Boundary Park.

Latics' manager gave his players extra time off following a hectic Easter and with a punishing spell of seven games in 22 days ahead.

Johnson (pictured) explained that it was all part of the psychology of being a manager.

He said: "I gave the lads two days off this week which some people may have been surprised when we are in a relegation fight.

"The reason was that it provided them with a mental release because we have a big period coming up.

"Sometimes they need family time, chill out from the pressures of being a professional footballer and to take stock.

"I decided it was the best thing to do, but that remains to be seen whether it was right or not.

"The players hopefully returned mentally fresh for a big period."

Johnson was satisfied with the draws over Easter as Latics remain unbeaten in the three games since he took charge.

"We could have lost at Swindon and probably should have beaten Colchester so I would rather have taken three points rather than two, but it keeps the run unbeaten," he explained.

Johnson is looking for Latics to stretch that sequence to four matches and inch further away from the relegation places.

Carlisle themselves probably need one more win to guarantee their League One status, but are in a poor run of form.

They have won only once in their last 11 league games and a disappointing haul of nine points from a possible 33 is responsible for their slide down the table from mid-table security.

Johnson said: "It is a big game and I am sure Carlisle will see it as one that, if they win, they will be on their holidays with no threat of relegation.

"We know they will be up for it because they will want the victory so they can relax as quickly as they can."

Carlisle have drawn their last three league matches - at home to Yeovil and Shrewsbury Town and at Sheffield United in their last outing on Easter Monday.

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