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Clean bill of health

29 March 2013

Johnson ready for first away-day test


Latics have a clean bill of health as they embark on a gruelling schedule of nine npower League One matches starting with today's trip to promotion-chasing Swindon Town.

Manager Lee Johnson, who will be taking charge of his first away game, was able to reflect on yesterday having the luxury of 24 players training, a rarity towards the end of a long and arduous campaign.

"I don’t think we have that all season and we are blessed in the sense that everybody is fit," explained Johnson who added that the full squad will be needed in the final month of the season.

He continued: "You wouldn't want to be going into these games with 11 or 12 fit and five or six nursing injuries and you are trying to get through it.

"We are lucky in that sense, but the 11 who go out on the pitch are important as they have to perform."

Johnson is not surprised to see Swindon lying in second spot in the table as he said: "They are a good side.

"There is still the overlap from the Paolo Di Canio reign, but they are a very fit and organised side."

Johnson made a personal check on Swindon last Saturday when they were held to a home goalless draw by Notts County but he says they were unlucky not to win that game.

And Johnson believes today’s game will be a yardstick as to the progress being made.

"It shows us where we want to be next year and whether we can go toe to toe with a side like Swindon," he said.

Latics, who won 2-0 at the County Ground on their last visit in April 2011, will be looking to avenge their 2-0 home defeat in December.

Swindon, now managed by Kevin MacDonald, are one of the teams with a better away record having collected 35 points on their travels compared to 32 at home where they have lost four times in the league to Leyton Orient, Colchester, Bury and Brentford.

They are currently enjoying a terrific run of form having lost only two of their last 19 league and cup games since the end of November.

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