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Interviews

Scholes Looking Forward To First Derby As Manager

21 February 2019

Oldham Athletic manager Paul Scholes is relishing the opportunity to go up against high flying Bury this Saturday.

Scholes is under no illusion in the task at hand, but he firmly believes his squad have enough quality to cause Bury problems.

“Bury are a tough team, they're probably one of the best in the league and our concentration has to be there otherwise we won't get anything out of the game.” He said.

“It's my first derby as a manager and I'm just thinking about Bury, they're a strong team with some very good players, but I feel like we have as well.

“It'll be interesting, and it'll be difficult because of the amount of games we've had, so can we get some freshness back in the team.”

Latics are two games without a win in which they have conceded two late goals to both Crewe Alexandra and Morecambe.

Scholes has been thrown in the deep end of management already with three games in seven days and experiencing every result.

However, the Latics manager is keeping his emotions in check despite the mixture of results.

“I knew it was going to be different emotions, you're going to win games and be happy or lose some and be unhappy.” He commented.

“It's just about recovering from that, we've conceded a couple of late goals in the past two games which were disappointing.

“It could have been different, but it wasn't and now we've got a tough game Saturday to move on from the defeat.”

With a quick turnaround in games, Scholes hasn’t been able to spend a lot of time on the training pitch with the players.

Although he’ll have a chance to use a full week of training to his advantage after Saturday, Scholes is looking at the rest of his squad in training while the others recover.

“With the pitches being heavy and the amount of games we've had we can't really do a lot with the players that have played.

“The rest of the lads trying to get in the side have trained really well and that's what we're looking for.

“We want that good attitude and lads to push the guys in the team out of it.”

Two of those currently training are loan signings Alex Iacovitti and Oladapo Afolayan.

Scholes is monitoring both closely as he looks to get them both up to full speed before throwing them into the first team.

“Alex (Iacovitti) has been training for a couple of weeks, since I've been here, and I want to see him in a game.

“It's been difficult because he's a left-back and we've got three or four of them, so it's about waiting for the right team to look at him.

“We've had some games behind closed doors which we have more of in the next couple of weeks, so if we can get him some minutes hopefully, he'll be ready

“Dapo (Oladapo Afolayan) has come in this morning, he's been out for a long time and only had two hours of football since.

“He's going to need two or three weeks of really good training, he'll be in the squad for the next three or four games before we look at a start.”

Scholes was also unsure on the availability of Tom Hamer and Callum Lang who both missed Tuesday’s game through injury.

“We're not sure on both of them really, Callum (Lang) is still sore and Tom (Hamer) is still a bit stiff, but hopefully they can both train tomorrow, but we'll wait and see.”

With Saturday fast approaching, it will be a chance for the Latics manager to experience the away following for the first time on the touchline.

Although he’s aware of the large numbers that travel across the country, he is hoping to send home over 2500 Latics fans with a smile on their faces.

“I'm really looking forward to it, I've experienced the Oldham away fans before and they're very loud.

“They always get behind the team and I'm sure it'll be no different Saturday, so we just need to give them something to sing about.”


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