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Maamria Looking Forward To Mansfield Test

11 October 2019

Head Coach Dino Maamria is fired up and ready to go as Oldham Athletic travel to Mansfield town on Saturday.

Latics travel to the One Call Stadium looking to rectify Tuesday’s game with Accrington Stanley with the focus quickly turned to Mansfield.

“We've moved on already; I think it's a funny competition because you're never too sure who to play and who not to play.” He said.

“The league is our priority, but to be fair to the lads we started the game really strongly and the official probably ruined the game for both teams.

“We've moved on though; our focus is on Mansfield and that competition will be put on the back burner until Fleetwood.

“We're still in a strong position because win or draw we can go through the group.”

Some key first team players were rested on Tuesday with Maamria able to take a look at some of the squad players at the club.

Mohammed Maouche and David Wheater were unused substitutes on Tuesday night and the Latics Head Coach says they’ll be back fresh on Saturday.

“It was a good exercise it terms of keeping a few of the lads fresh for the weekend and have a look at one or two others.” He commented.

“That's what that competition serves, we want to win every game, we played a strong team, but it wasn't to be.

“We've got Mohammed (Maouche) back, we've got David Wheater, Filipe Morais and a few of the first team lads back in contention.”

Tomas Egert made his long-awaited return from injury in the past two games against Cheltenham Town and Accrington.

Maamria has been impressed with the central defender since his arrival at the club and he’s pleased to see Egert progressing well so far.

“First and foremost, he's a top guy and a top professional.

“He's a very good player, obviously he's been out for a long time, but I knew about him before I came to the club.

“I'm working with him daily and we're making sure that he gets back to his best.

“I think he's shown in the past couple of games what we've been missing at the football club.

“On Tuesday I didn't want to play him for 90 minutes, but unfortunately because of the sending off so he had to play.

“It was probably a good thing though in fairness, mentally when you haven't played 90 minutes for a long time it can become an issue in your head.

“He got through that and we'll look after him so he's fresh for Saturday.”

Two players who definitely will not be involved are Zeus De La Paz and Desire Segbe Azankpo who are away on International Duty.

Maamria admits it’s a loss to his squad, but he believes it’s a chance for others to stake their claim in the side.

“It's not good because those two players featured in our four points since I got here, the win against Morecambe and the draw with Cheltenham.

“Those two were involved in an unbeaten team so they would have been involved, but it is what it is with International players.

“I normally try to keep players for important games by speaking with the other managers, but it was too late on this occasion.

“It's an opportunity for others, Scott (Wilson), Kielen (Adams) and Urko (Vera) may get a chance to stake their claim.”

Latics have had a few injury concerns over the past couple of games, but Maamria is hopeful some of those missing will be involved Saturday.

“We're touch and go with a couple of others, so I may have some key players back involved.

“The sooner we have those players the better, but it might strengthen us this weekend if they come through ok.”

Mansfield are a side that just missed out on an automatic promotion spot last campaign as they were pipped to third spot by MK Dons.

They haven’t started the season as they would have hoped, but Maamria knows they will still carry a threat on Saturday.

However, he also believes that his side are more than capable of getting a result on Saturday.

“They've probably got the best squad on paper in League Two.

“They have experienced players; they've been top end of League Two for the past three years and they spend heavily.

“They have a lot of options across the pitch, so they're a strong team without a shadow of a doubt.

“They haven't had the start they were looking for, they're probably in a transition period as well as us when a new manager coming in.

“Whichever way we play, I'm aware of their threats and their weaknesses, so hopefully we'll be well prepared for it.”

Latics have sold over 300 tickets for the away end on Saturday with hopefully some more to turn up on the day.

Maamria has been impressed with the support since he arrived at the club and he’s hoping everyone will continue to support his side.

“I'm actually in love with the Oldham supporters, I came to the game against Scunthorpe a few weeks ago and throughout the 90 minutes they were fantastic.

“They give a great support to the team regardless and what's happening and I'm in love with them already.

“They were fantastic at Carlisle and even Tuesday night we had 1100 turn up for a Tuesday night game in a different competition.

“I'm aware of our fan base and they are a big part of our journey going forward together.

“I know I have to get them on side, I've got to produce winning football, but I will try to do all that for them.

“This football club relies heavily on the fan base and I promise to give them a team that will cover every blade of grass and work hardest to win the match.

“Hopefully the result will look after itself, but we'll go over and make sure we thank those fans for turning up and continuing to support us.”


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