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Key Players Set To Return States Holden

2 March 2015

Caretaker boss Dean Holden is hoping to welcome back several first team players as he takes his side to Port Vale tomorrow night.

Latics were missing seven key players on Saturday through injury but Holden believes a couple of those should be fit for Tuesday night's game.

He said: "Tomorrow is a completely different game to Preston. We will have one or two back from injury so the squad might look a bit stronger and it's a game we can win if we do the things we are good at. 

"Winchester had a tight hamstring and didn't feel he could go into the game. It was a huge risk of injury and selfishly I wanted to play him and Conor [Wilkinson] because I wanted to win but you have to think of the bigger picture. 

"Jacob Mellis will train today and there is a slight doubt over Kusunga. Mills' was a bad injury and George has no chance for tomorrow."

Morale was low in the dressing room after the Preston North End defeat but Holden now wants to put that result behind them and move forwards.

"Players were hurting after the game. It's never a nice place to be after a defeat," commented the 35-year-old.

"It was a bad day on Saturday, and we can't sugarcoat that, but it was two days ago now and we are moving forward with smiles on our faces. I don't want anybody coming in with a negative mindset because you can't do anything about it now. 

"We have a good chance to respond now with the game tomorrow and it's a great opportunity for the lads to go out there and show people what it means to play for Oldham."

Port Vale sit three points outside the play-off places in League One and Holden believes it will be a tough test for his players but one they will fight to win.

"They have done great since Rob Page has taken over. They have had a good run and they are a big physical side. They have some big strikers up front who will make it difficult for our defenders and they will be in for another tough night," said Holden.

"But they've got to stand up to that as have the rest of the players that go out there. They need to know they will be in a battle because nobody is going to lie down for us. We have to go there and make sure we are concentrated."

Watch the full interview on Latics Player.

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