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Scholes Ready For Crewe Test

15 February 2019

Oldham Athletic manager Paul Scholes is looking forward to taking on an in-form Crewe Alexandra side on Saturday.

Since Paul Scholes was officially announced as the man to take the hot seat at Oldham Athletic on Monday, he has a couple of training sessions as well as a win in his first game in charge on against Yeovil Town.

Upon reflection, Scholes was pleased with how his side handled the occasion on Tuesday night, despite the short turnaround.

"I was really pleased with Tuesday night, when you look back at the goals especially there's some really good finishes and it is what I expected of them to be honest.” He said.

“I've watched four, five maybe six games and I knew the squad was talented.

"Monday morning, we trained for the first time and that just confirmed my thoughts and into the game Tuesday which was good.

“It was a difficult game really against a team that played in a different way, we had to handle it and the two centre-halves especially George [Edmundson] and Clarkey [Peter Clarke], as much as we talk about the good goals.”

Inheriting a squad is always a challenge, especially midway through a season with much left to play for.

Since Scholes joined it’s something, he knows will take time to work on but is something he isn’t fazed by.

"The size of the squad will be a challenge for me I suppose, I think the first day with three keepers there was 27.” He commented.

“I did say it was a bit like a soccer school, but we'll trim it down, but the day before a game obviously you can't train with that many players, you can't possibly prepare for a game in that way.

“The people who need games will play games, we've got some games arranged next week and the next three weeks for the lads who can't manage to keep their fitness up and I'll be looking at them as well to see if they can fight their way into the first team squad."

Alongside the playing staff there is full backroom team ready to support the new manager and with that it has made the transition into the new job that bit easier.

"Chris Millington has been brilliant and a big help to me with everything, the organisation, the people to speak to at the club when we need something.

“Most importantly, he knows every player inside out, he's been great.

“Steve Hale as well the Goalkeeper Coach has been very good, very helpful and Tuesday it worked and hopefully it'll work again Saturday.”

Scholes will have a fully fit squad to choose from with the exception of long-term absentees Dan Gardner and Ousmane Fane.

Tom Hamer was on the end of a hefty challenge on Tuesday night and Scholes provided an update on the defenders’ wellbeing.

"Tom Hamer might be struggling I think because that was a really nasty collision, I've just seen the footage again actually from it and it was nasty, but he's a tough lad he wanted to play on.

“He tried for the next six or seven minutes I think but he's really sore and really stiff, we'll have a look at him tomorrow [Friday] and see how he is for Saturday.

“The rest are ok, [Callum] Lang had a bit of a tight hamstring but other than that I think everyone's alright.”

Focusing on the next opponents, Scholes understands that things will only get tougher in the league.

"Crewe are a good team, they've won the last four out of five games, have some good players, Chris Porter obviously who was here before, he's a real threat and they've got three or four players who can really play.

“We're going to have to be ready for it, do what we do most importantly and concentrate on us because I think there's a really talented group of players here and I think we're capable of scoring goals."

With the weekend approaching and excitement levels high, Boundary Park could be expecting a few more faces come Saturday afternoon.

Scholes is hoping the fans will stick with the team as they try to send everyone home with smiles on faces.

"I just want them to get behind us, but it’s up to us to make them get behind us.

“We have to try to entertain, play some good football, score some goals, we know it's going to be difficult, Crewe are on a really good run and the confidence is high.

“It's going to be tough, but we need to give the crowd something to shout about and hopefully we can do."

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