New signing Mark Yeates is eager to force his way into the starting squad but is under no illusions it will be a tough task in an already competitive midfield.
The winger, who has been training with the club since last week, joins a team already boasting midfielders such as Liam Kelly, Mike Jones, David Dunn, Carl Winchester, Lee Croft, Danny Philliskirk and George Green, but believes he has the quality to force his way into Darren Kelly’s plans.
He said: “I’m eager to get into the starting 11. I think any footballer would tell you that games get you fit. You can do as much training and running as you want but you need to get out there on the pitch.
"I’m keen to get out there and play. Whether that is from the bench from the opening couple of games or whether he puts me straight in, I’ll give 110% each game and try to make an impression.
"There is a lot of competition in most squads now. You have 16 to 18 lads who can push themselves into the starting 11 and this is no different.
“I’ve played a lot of football at a good level so I would back myself all day once I get up and running and get some game time under my belt.
“I haven’t played a lot over the summer, only a couple of training ground games but I feel sharp, fit and I seem to have fitted in well with the group so I hope to go from strength to strength."
Yeates has plied his trade predominantly in the Championship for such clubs as Middlesbrough, Sheffield United and Watford and the 30-year-old has explained what Oldham Athletic supporters can expect to see of him.
“Anywhere I have played I have tried to get on the ball and make things happen,” he admitted.
“I’m more of a tactical footballer who can play on the left but seeing the way the boys play here, they play in the middle of the park with the number 10 pushing on so it’s something I can see myself going into.
"There is competition for places and I’m coming in here keeping my head down. It’s been a strange summer because I’ve never been in this boat but I feel good, I feel fit and I’ve been working my socks off all summer. I’m delighted to get in and get going.”
Although Yeates has signed a short-term deal with the club, he is hoping to impress and stay beyond his initial period.
"It’s short term at the moment but the plan is to make it into a longer term stay. With the new stand, the club is trying to push on. If you look at the group, with the players in there a lot of clubs will realise Oldham are in with a real big shout this season.
"Losing the big man in attack was a blow but it gives other people an opportunity. I’m hoping that I can do that myself.”
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