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Johnson Looking To Turn Around Form

24 December 2014

Lee Johnson's Oldham Athletic outfit face bottom of the table Crewe Alexandra in the Boxing Day clash and the manager expects the players to improve and put the last two results behind them.

After heavy defeats against Yeovil Town and MK Dons, the gaffer has helped rebuild confidence amongst the players and hopes his his side can pick up momentum for a play-off push in 2015.

He said: "We are hurting as a club after two poor performances on the spin and we have to embrace that. Of course there is something wrong within that but there have been no issues so is it a crisis of confidence? Sometimes that happens in football. 

"At the same time, we are in a fantastic position and if someone had been in a coma and only just woken up and saw us a point outside the play-offs, they would think it was a successful time and it has been.

"It is just the manner of these two defeats that we have got to get rid of. We have been very organised all season and in the last two games it has been like parting of the red sea. As a team, we haven't blended and I have to take that on but of course, players have to look at themselves and ask why is this?

"We have attempted to rebuild confidence in the group. We have pushed and pushed this group to a place we thought we couldn't be. We were third favourites for relegation at the start of the season and now people don't look at us as the surprise package. 

"They look at us as a scalp and that comes with a different type of pressure. We have to boost them and encourage them into believing again that they are the players we know they can be. That is what we have done this week and we will go into this game on Friday giving all we can."

The Railwaymen enjoyed victory over top of the table Bristol City on Saturday, which was only their fifth win of the season, but Johnson will only be concentrating on his team's performance.

"We go into Friday's game in poor form on an individual basis but I believe I am going to put a team out that is going to run about and give their all against, let's be honest, a Crewe side who are struggling in the division. We have got to try and win the game and take the game to them and players get their individual game going with the support of the staff and fans," the 33-year-old added.

"Crewe are in a transition at the moment. They are playing a lot of young players and bought a few seniors in and they have picked up. But, they are bottom of the league for a reason. We have got to make sure we go out and exploit those weaknesses and be aggressive in our passing, movement and running."

With Christmas only a day away, the manager reserved a special Christmas message just for the supporters. "A very Merry Christmas to everybody. Thank you for your continued support and we love you all," he commented. 

"Have a great time and enjoy your family time. Come to our game on Boxing Day and give the players all the support as you always do and I'm sure they will produce for you because they are hurting and we want to finish this year with a bang and want to start next year with an even bigger bang. Merry Christmas."

Watch part one of Lee's interview here. 

Watch part two of Lee's interview here.

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