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Holden: "It Was A Flat Performance."

26 April 2015

First team boss Dean Holden admitted his side lacked attacking flair yesterday as they fell to a 2-0 defeat to Walsall in the final away game of the season.

A double from striker Tom Bradshaw, including a controversial penalty, meant Latics came away from the Banks's Stadium pointless.

Speaking after the game, Holden said: "It was a flat performance, especially in the final third. I don't think there was a lot in the game. We set up for a short corner, we've lost it and they have hit us on the counter and got the first goal but up until then I thought it was quite an even game. 

"The decision has gone against us for the second goal and it's difficult to get back in once that has happened. Walsall are a good passing team and they make the pitch really big and move the ball well. We did that ourselves at times and it was similar to the Crawley game but we have moved it and got it to the final third and just fell flat. 

"We are nowhere near positive enough in that final third and we said that at half time. We said to go and put balls in the box, take chances, take shots because you never know you might get a deflection or something like that but too many times we are trying to score the perfect goal and it just didn't quite happen."

The penalty incident was a huge decision in the game as Liam Kelly appeared to win a large portion of the ball but the referee decided to award a spot kick.

"I don't want to spend all my time talking about referees," said Holden. "The decisions have gone against us and I'm not going to use that as an excuse. 

"They are the big decisions but that's adversity and you have got to overcome that."

The Oldham Athletic fans travelled in their numbers, like they have done all season, and the 35-year-old wants to finish the season strongly next week to reward their support.

"They have travelled in their numbers again and got behind us with the fancy dress and everything," Holden said. "It's probably a good day for them until it gets to about 3.20pm and the second goal goes in and then the game goes a bit flat. 

"I think we had a go in the second half and it was important it didn't become three, four or five. The lads gave it a fight in the second half but it didn't affect their goalkeeper enough. 

"We owe the fans now. It's not a good enough performance and the players know that themselves. Being a player myself recently, you go home and look at yourself in the mirror in terms of 'did I do enough today'. 'If there was something really serious depending on that game, could I have given anymore' or 'could I tried something different'. 

"That's what the players have to answer every single week they go out on the pitch. We absolutely want to go out with a bang next week and we owe the fans a result." 

Watch the full interview on Latics Player.

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