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Interviews

Maamria Determined To Make It Better

13 October 2019

The Head Coach gave his honest thoughts after seeing his side succumb to a disappointing 6-1 defeat at the hands of Mansfield Town.

At the full-time whistle Maamria was left quite emotional after seeing the away support and their reaction throughout the game when things seemed to go from bad to worse.

"My emotion. I'm quite touched with our fans, they were absolutely outstanding. I keep reminding my players that this is Oldham Athletic. A club with history, with tradition and we had some glory days in the past.

"We are a League Two club right now, but if we carry on doing what we've been doing for the past couple of years probably, certainly the past six weeks, seven weeks anyway. I think we won't even be in League Two.

"So we've got to earn the right to that and I think it's a wake-up call really. I think it's probably, the biggest thing I'm going to take from it, it's a proper wake-up call for everybody. Certainly the players."

He added: "I've seen it and I've spoke about a lack of discipline from day one when I came in. A lack of discipline goes everywhere off the pitch, on the pitch you've seen it. 

"And if we have people with a no-care mentality I think they're going to get found out sooner or later.

"The good news it's mid-October, we've got plenty of time to fix it. I know exactly what needs fixing, I know exactly who the players I'm going to carry forward with me. Our hands are tied right now until January anyway. But I've got to work with what I've got.

"Some of the players, I think everybody has seen them the lads who wear their hearts on their sleeve."

He continued: "And I've got to speak about Tom Hamer. Oldham through-and-through, outstanding performance. I'm not sure how much distance he covered today from right-back and he deserved his goal as well.

"So players like Tom Hamer they inspire me to come in everyday and make sure that I raise the standard of every corner of the football club."

Touching on the support again he has received since joining the club last month, the Head Coach is fully aware that he wants the club to have a team the town can be proud of.

"They inspire me. I promise them that I'll get them a team they can be proud of. I promise them I'll get them a team that are fighters, play on the front foot and stand up and be counted during adversity.

"A team full of characters, personalities. A team that I can be proud of. We lose some games, win games but a team they'll always be proud of. We haven't got that team right now, we haven't got that team.

"As you see, I have nothing to hide. So we need to start building to get them that team they deserve because they were absolutely outstanding and you see throughout the 95-100 minutes we play, they back the team. 

"A standing ovation to them after the game, I made sure all our players, if there's anything today, I want to thank those fans because they keep turning up in numbers and some of us have to got to stand up and be counted.

"It's two things. I pay people good money to perform. If you're not performing then really it's not fair really is it. I'll get it sorted, I know what needs doing and I'm already on the way of sorting that out and I'll crack on."

The game had a huge turning point when referee Lee Swabey brandished two red cards in the space of 60 seconds towards the back end of the opening half.

Tomas Egert receiving a straight red, with Filipe Morais getting a second yellow for a challenge that was timed late.

Maamria was left bemused at the first decision but agreed on the whole with the second after forcing Swabey's hand.

"I think everybody's seen it. It's quite very, very unfair. It's very, very soft to say the least. It's certainly to send two off at the same time. I'm not sure what angle the referee is coming from because for me he became very, very strong to make those decisions and you've got to be certain to send two players off at the same time.

"I thought Tomas got the ball. Definitely got the ball without a shadow of doubt, we've all seen it. Filipe Morais, maybe passion I think, but if you're looking to send someone off you send him off on the back of that. 

"Filipe put him in that position to send him off after he's just got booked, he should know better than that Filipe Morais, he's an experienced player and he shouldn't put the referee in that position there. But Tomas' wasn't a sending off."

Finding his team down to nine and two behind, Latics pulled an unlikely goal back just before the interval but Maamria was left disappointed again at his sides reaction, conceding a third which would be Nicky Maynard's hat-trick in added time to put the Stags completely out of sight.

"I'm disappointed with that minute before half-time. I was screaming from the sideline keep your shape and keep it tight. And then we give the ball away in silly areas and again I think some of our players have a lack of game intelligence and lack of understanding.

"We've got a lot of players that they're just happy go players. They just like there's no consequences, they're just playing without any consequences, like they're playing with their mates in the park.

"And that what happened. We get caught in possession and they go and score the third goal just before half-time, it kills us a little bit." He commented.

"If we go in at half-time, 2-1 it gave me time to change one or two things and stay tight in the game and see what happened.

"But to get two sending offs within 35-36 minutes and then to give that silly third goal away, I think we got we deserved overall which is nothing. Embarrassing performance, embarrassing scoreline. I'll stand up and take it on the chin like I do.

"But I know what I need to do and I'll get it sorted."

On what was a difficult afternoon, Maamria admitted he can only use the experience now to build on what he's learnt since taking the Boundary Park hot-seat and is very close to making his mind up on how to change things for the better.

"It's been a good week apart from today with the two sending offs that played a key part in the scoreline. Despite what I'm saying, the two sending offs, that's why the scoreline is like it is.

"Against anybody, you get two sending offs after 36 minutes you're going to struggle especially against a good Mansfield team with their frontline as well.

"But it's good learning for me. Like I said, I'm more or less 90% know exactly what I've got, what I inherited and who I'm going to carry forward with me and who I'm not going to carry forward with me."


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