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Gerrard: “Everyone Deserves A Massive Pat On The Back.”

29 April 2016

In an open and honest interview, defender Anthony Gerrard reflected on the massive achievement it has been to keep the club in Sky Bet League One.

The defender was announced on January 26 as an Oldham Athletic player on a permanent basis until the end of the season.

Gerrard met with chairman Simon Corney who gave him one task, keep the club in the division.

His first game ended in a win against former club Shrewsbury Town. Since then, Latics have kept 10 clean sheets, nine of which Gerrard has played a part in.

Athletic picked up 33 points from 18 games which has taken them to Sky Bet League One safety, and it’s an achievement Gerrard is proud of.

Gerrard said: “I think everyone deserves a huge pat on the back, especially the boys and the manager for sticking together. 

"We were down and out and written off a long time ago but we have just shown what a bit of team spirit and hard work can do. 

“I just installed a bit of self-belief and self-confidence in the lads and gave a bit of organisation. 

“The manager can only do a certain job, but he is off the pitch and he needs someone on the pitch who can get people in the right positions and making sure they are doing their job properly. 

"Our record has shown after I came in and after the manager came in that it was a good fit. 

"I’ve always thrived on pressure and used it to my advantage. Even though I don’t wear the armband, I think of myself as a captain on the pitch and as a leader. 

“Hopefully I have showed everyone that I am that."

Latics face the long trip to Millwall but the 30-year-old is keen to keep the run of form going until the end of the season and finish on a high.

“My own ambition was to get it done with two games to spare so the lads didn’t have to play with any pressure,” he admitted. "Thankfully we have done that but lets not take our foot off the gas now. 

"The run of form we are on is outstanding. I don’t think anyone has taken any notice of us but I think they should do. We want to finish as high as possible and we hope to do that.”

Asked about the possibility of staying next season, Gerrard responded very honestly: “Let’s see what happens,” he said.

“I wanted to be part of some squad, any squad since June, July, August, September, October but nobody would take me. 

There are plenty of teams who have turned me down flat to my face and on the phone. An elephant never forgets and I’ve burnt my bridges one too many times with people and I’m happy to burn them with clubs I don’t particularly like. 

"People inside those clubs have belittled me and talked down to me to every club in the Football League. I was phoning clubs just to ask to come in for pre-season and I was getting the answer no. 

“I asked why and I was told that I wasn’t the character they wanted around the club and I thought I’d not even spoken to their manager, so I figured that people had been talking behind my back which happens. 

"There are more politics that go on in football than there is in the houses of parliament. I just got on with things and hopefully I’ve shown everyone by coming to Oldham, taking on a massive challenge that I’m not a bad egg, that my football speaks for itself, and I’m an all round nice lad. 

“I’m a straight shooter and I’m just me going about my business and doing the best I can for my family and for those that employ me. 

"Getting back to the question, it’s all ifs, buts and maybes at the moment. I have another child coming in June and I’ll be a dad for the third time so the pennies have got to add up and bills have got to be paid.

“Even if I don’t end up here next season, this place, the stadium, the lads, the people in it, I will always hold a fondness forever."

Watch the full interview on Latics PlayerHD. 

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