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Holden Eyeing Winning Return To Former Club

23 April 2015

First team boss Dean Holden faces the club he started the season with on Saturday as he takes his side to Walsall in the last away game of the season.

Holden served Walsall from 2012 to November 2014 before becoming a part of then-manager Lee Johnson's backroom staff as first team coach.

Since his departure, Holden has taken the reigns at SportsDirect.com Park and it's been a whirlwind for the now Oldham Athletic manager.

He said: "It's been an incredible season. There is too much going on at the moment to sit back and analyse it too much but up until November time, I'm preparing every weekend as though I'm going to be playing. 

"That is the way football is and it's worked out fantastically for me and I'm really looking forward to going back there. It's going to be a tough game and they have started scoring the last couple of games, which I knew they would. 

"They have got some good forward players in the squad but it just wasn't working for them. I'm glad they have got safe in these last couple of weeks because there is a lot of work that goes in behind the scenes so it should be a good game.

"The one thing I know about them is that they like to give young lads a chance. They like to play the right way, they are organised and they take a lot of pride in that. They will be looking to win the game and finish as high as they can."

In terms of injury news, Joseph Mills and Jonathan Forte will miss the remainder of the season whilst Conor Wilkinson continues to be assessed by the medical staff at Bolton.

Although the squad have suffered with a lot of injuries, Holden's persistence to give youth a chances has proved effective with the emergence of Joel Coleman.

"I don't think pressure would bother Joel, he is the most down-to-earth lad that you can get," Holden admitted. 

"I have spoke a lot about him in the last couple of weeks and he has a great attitude and for me that is everything. He has been given an opportunity and young lads are at this football club and that is important. 

"He will go away in the summer and look to get even stronger and even fitter and look to push on next season."

The 35-year-old is aiming to end the season on a high and believes the players themselves will put the effort in for individual reasons.

He said: "We've got six points to play for and there are all sorts of things still to play for. Players are playing for contracts and they do every single game they go out there. You are playing for your future in every game because you don't know when the last game is coming. 

"It's a great attitude to have if you play every game like it's your last, that's for sure. From the club's point of view, we want to finish as high as we can. For the fans going into next season, we want to finish as high as possible. There is a lot of pride and professionalism that comes into it now. 

"I knew from day one that I wasn't sure how long I would be given so I took every single day and got the most out of it. That's what I will be doing for the remaining nine days until Peterborough on Sunday and I'll do my best like I've done since day one."

Watch the full interview on Latics Player.

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