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Maamria Acknowledges Difficult Evening For Latics

15 November 2019

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Oldham Athletic exited the Leasing.com trophy with a 5-2 defeat away at Fleetwood Town on Wednesday night and the Head Coach gave his thoughts following the result.

It was a difficult night overall for Latics with Maamria acknowledging how tough the game was but expressing the positives that could be taken from the loss.

"I think the positive is the second half, we drew it 1-1. We had a good second-half but it was always going to be difficult when you give away three goals in 12 minutes.

"I was really disappointed, I think it’s a tough lesson for our young back four. To concede after five minutes from a free header, I don't think Stotty will let his man do that again.

"He will learn from it, he's a young lad. It’s his proper first season in the Football League against a better opposition."

Maamria also knows that it was always going to be a big ask for his squad to compete across multiple fronts and an early exit from this competition will now allow his side to focus on the League and the FA Cup.

"To be fair I think we are probably better out of the competition, we haven't got the depth in the squad to deal with it.

"I don't get carried away with the scoreline because the process hasn't changed. I’m here, it’s a long job and a tough job."

He added: "We have a lot of changes to make, we've got what we've got at the moment.

"Sometimes you come up short and we definitely came up short against a good Fleetwood team."

It was always going to be an uphill struggle for Maamria's side after they found themselves three down after just 15 minutes which shocked everyone in attendance at Highbury.

"I think to give anyone three goals in 15 minutes it’s going to be a tough evening, it could have got a lot worse but in the second-half we changed a few things and we had a better go."

Amongst the positives for Latics was the performance of 15-year-old striker Zak Emmerson who made his first start for the club.

"There is a lot of positives as well, I thought that Zak Emmerson equipped himself really well for his full debut. I thought he was fantastic for a 15-year-old.

"It's more disappointing for the rest of his teammates that they didn't help him out but I thought he worked really hard, he had nice touches, he got hold of the ball well in tight areas, he played well."

Maamria was also pleased by the performance of Jonny Smith who scored his second goal in as many games and Zak Mills coming back into the side and playing 90 minutes.

"I thought Jonny Smith was outstanding, it’s good to see Zak Mills back, his first 90 minutes for a while so there is certain positives despite the scoreline."

He continued: "I’m worried I might lose him [Jonny Smith] in January, if he keeps performing the way that he's been performing. 

"He's a great lad to work with. He's not scored as many goals as he has before in his career so I’m always on his case to try and get forward as a wide player.

"I keep telling him the best players in the world are wide players, Ronaldo made his name from scoring from wide positions so he has to keep improving and doing that."

Maamria also added: "He’s a pleasure to work with and a very coachable kid. I’m glad to see him scoring the best goal of the night."

Latics now have the weekend off with the away game at Stevenage being postponed and the Head Coach is pleased that it gives him a chance to give his squad a rest.

"I’m delighted we've got a free week because our squad is really thin, one or two players I didn't want to play but was forced to play them due to suspensions and injuries.

"Chris Eagles and Filipe Morais came off at half-time. I didn't want to carry on with Chris McCan as well, he has played a lot of games in a short space of time but we’ve got we’ve got and we have got to crack on with it."


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