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Robinson: “We Have Got A Solid Base To Build On.”

16 September 2016

Oldham Athletic have kept the most clean sheets so far this season in any league with four, and manager Stephen Robinson believes a solid base is key.

Latics have kept clean sheets against Walsall, Northampton, Bury and Chesterfield so far this season and this is something which has pleased the manager.

He said: “We only had three clean sheets before Christmas last year and if you look at this year we’ve already had four clean sheets so I think it tells us that we’ve built a solid base and our back four has been good and strong. 

“We have got a base to build on and I’m not sure you can do it the other way around where you are scoring four or five goals but conceding six or seven. That’s just not the way to build a football club and a team. 

"The final third is always the last bit to come and we’re well aware that’s why the big money is payed for players at that end of the division at every level. We’re getting there and we’ve just got a base to build from.”

Whilst fans put their questions to the manager on BBC Radio Manchester on Monday night, Robinson gathered football and office staff for a meeting on Tuesday morning and outlined his plans for the football club. 

“Ultimately what happens on the pitch is paramount for the club going forward but we need to put a long term structure in place for the club,” Robinson admitted. 

“We’ve had a look at everything around the club and we’re trying to pull everyone together, motivate staff and try and do it as a one. 

“We did a similar thing at Northern Ireland where we bought everyone together and bought into a way of playing and to take the country forward. 

"We want to do exactly the same thing here and the staff have bought into it. The staff have been very positive. 

“We have tried to adjust our training ground, with not a lot of money, but we are trying to give it a bit of identity over the next couple of weeks where the boys enjoy coming and working here. 

"We have introduced gym sessions, yoga sessions and changed the place where we eat so in the long run it will benefit the club in the long term. 

“We have introduced hand sanitisers, and I got that from going around different clubs when I was manager of the under 21s at Northern Ireland. 

"I went to Newcastle and met Alan Pardew and John Carver. They simply had hand sanitation around the place and I asked why and it was just to prevent germs. 

“Everyone is in an enclosed environment here. Freddie Ladapo was ill last week and he could spread them and we end up two or three players short so we are doing anything we can to make sure we are keeping everybody fit.”

Ladapo has recovered from injury and will be available for tomorrow’s game and the manager admits he’s got a real selection headache tomorrow afternoon.

"Cameron Dummigan was excellent in the reserve game at the weekend so he’s pushing for a place in the team. Josh Law has been excellent as well and he’s actually a midfielder so we’ve got options. 

"Jamie Reckord is not quite yet there after playing one half in five weeks and Calaum Jahraldo-Martin is the same so I don’t think they are there yet but hopefully by next Saturday we will have a fully fit squad available. 

"Ryan McLaughlin is someone I always had faith with. I maybe threw him into games too early. 

“Ryan missed the last three months of last season and didn’t have a pre-season and he only trained three or four days when I threw him in so it’s difficult because people judge you straight away. 

"He is really starting to come to the fore, though. He’s looking fitter, stronger and when we get him fully firing then it gives us the options to go with wingers and get Jahraldo up to speed as well.”

Robinson takes his side to Coventry City tomorrow and knows it will be a tough encounter.

“If you look at their squad, their stadium and the crowds they pull in then they are a big club,” he said. “I believe genuinely that they are in a false position. 

“We have seen their last four games and they have played some good football but they are there to be hit on the break. 

“We have identified their weaknesses but they are definitely a side who I think will start climbing the table."

Watch the full interview on Latics PlayerHD. 

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