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Interviews

Wild Focusing On The League

10 January 2019

Caretaker manager Pete Wild has switched his attention straight onto Forest Green Rovers after last week’s Emirates FA Cup heroics.

Wild says that the focus is on Saturday’s game and the players have responded well in their quest to close the gap on the playoff positions.

“We’re back down to earth now, back to reality to what is now a massive game against Forest Green.” He said.

“The lads have been excellent in training and the buzz around the training ground is good.

“We're still chasing teams like Forest Green, so we've got to make sure we're focused on that task.”

Forest Green have proved to be a tricky side to play against this season having only lost four games all season.

Wild believes that Latics can’t become too overconfident despite their win at Fulham last weekend against a side who currently occupy a playoff position.

“As I said last week (before Notts County), we can't let it become arrogance, we've got to be confident, we are confident, but we can't overstep the mark.” He commented.

“I'm expecting a quality footballing side, the manager there produces excellent footballing teams.”

Wild also expects Forest Green to play in a similar fashion to Fulham, so Oldham may need to pick and choose their moments to attack.

“It won't be too dissimilar to Fulham in the fact they'll be a team who wants to play football against us.

“We'll have to be calculated because if we're too expansive they'll play right through us.

“We aren't taking these lightly, they aren't sixth in the league for nothing and it's a team I've enjoyed watching all week.”

Wild currently holds a 100% record from his three games in caretaker charge of Latics.

Despite one of those opponents being a Premier League opposition, Wild believes that this will be his toughest game in charge so far.

“I think it's the most difficult match because we're up against teams at the top of our own division.

“They'll come here on the back of a decent run of form and if we're not careful they're a team we can come a cropper against.

“We've got to really show we've prepared thoroughly because they're the games you can come unstuck in.”

Latics will go into Saturday’s game without top scorer Sam Surridge after he returned to his parent club Bournemouth following a loan spell.

Wild had nothing but praise for the young striker and provided an update on whether it’s a possibility he could return.

“It's a big loss, Sam (Surridge) is a very good young player and hopefully this club has given him the platform to progress in his career.

“We thank Sam enormously for his time and effort with us and I wish him all the best.

“Bournemouth are keen on keeping him for a couple of weeks and seeing how he does, so we'll take it from there.”

Latics also lost Jordan Lyden and Sam Graham who Wild says will be another miss to the squad.

However, he says owner Abdallah Lemsagam is working hard to bring in more players to bolster the squad.

“They're another two top players and two top lads.

“Again, to squad it's another two exits of characters in the dressing, so we'll have to see if we can get one or two of them back.

“We're working hard, the owner is working hard on trying to recruit new players and hopefully we can get a couple to complement what we have.”

Wild couldn’t complete his pre-match press conference without mentioning the fourth-round draw of the Emirates FA Cup.

Despite it not being the most luxurious draw for many fans, Wild says it’s more of a relief and allows the team to fully concentrate on the league.

“I'm probably the most pleased out of everybody because people might leave us alone a little bit and let us concentrate on our league form.

“When it comes to the fourth-round game we can concentrate on that.

“Yes, it was great to have the spotlight on us, but in my opinion now it's nice to have a little peace and quiet and get back focused on the league.”


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