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Interviews

Maamria Wants A Win Against Mansfield

28 January 2020

Latics host Mansfield Town tonight in a Sky Bet League Two fixture at Boundary Park and Head Coach Dino Maamria gave his thoughts ahead of the encounter.

The Head Coach is aware of the quality that Mansfield Town have within their side but claims that he remains focused on his own side.

"We've got two home games now and we've had four draws with three of those being away draws. We were disappointed not to beat Carlisle United last week, but we've got two home games now with Mansfield Town and Bradford City on Saturday. I think that everybody will look much more happier with the four draws and two wins then things can change very quickly.

"Mansfield are a good team and have an unbelievable squad for the level and I don't know how they didn't get promoted last season, but they didn't. They had a poor start to the season and they've changed their manager and he's trying to find the right team and they had a good performance at the weekend and a good win beating Bradford 3-0, but I think you can never underestimate Mansfield because I know that they are in the same position as us with the same points tally, but when you look at their squad and the depth that they have as well as a frontline that is capable of scoring goals. They're really a top-three team at this level, but for one reason or another they've been underachieving this season and we're going to try and capitalise on that." He added.

"We've just spoken about what we need to do to get back to winning ways especially at home, the last time that we won at home was against Crawley Town so we'll try and finish this month with a win and that's been our focus.

"Obviously, we're learning from Saturday because we didn't play any football and we didn't do as well as we should do; so the focus has been on getting back to basics and using the ball well and I've got players in the squad that are capable of doing that and being comfortable taking the ball under pressure and being brave on the ball to make things happen because our frontline we have to give the ball to their feet.

"We can't play the type of football that some other teams do in League Two so we have to play to our own assets like Jonny Smith, Gevaro Nepomuceno, Danny Rowe and Zak Dearnley those players need the ball at their feet and that has been our focus and how we can improve with the ball."

In the reverse fixture at Field Mill, Latics suffered a 6-1 defeat and Maamria expects a better outing from his players this time around.

"It's never good to lose that heavy although we all saw what happened there were some freak decisions and we ended up playing with nine men and everything that could have gone against went against us that week so it's never something to judge, but what I say about Mansfield is that they've got a good team and a good group of players and they're capable of being up there in this league, so we've got to be at our absolute best to get three points and we've got to make sure that we do that."

Latics have drawn four matches on the bounce and the gaffer knows what the lads need in order to turn these points into three points.

"One thing for sure is that I think that there have been too many changes in personnel, the back four keeps changing week-in, week-out and that never helps, I'm not a big fan of a lot of changes. When I have the settled team, I've got that team in my head, and a certain way to play we're going to win a lot of matches. We will definitely finish this season a lot stronger than the first half of the season, it's just a matter of time.

"All we need is that right result that will give us the confidence and belief to go and win games hopefully by the weekend we'll get two or three players back for sure that will help us, but for now we've just got to focus on the Mansfield game and we've got to do what needs doing to just try and get back to winning ways.

"We've not been far from winning ways, you look at the last four games we could have easily won games, for example, if you look at the Macclesfield Town game we got robbed for three points so we look at that and think well that's the three points. We look at the Stevenage game and we missed a chance in the last five minutes one on one if we score that one, we could have easily won that game. You look at Carlisle at home, Zak Dearnley five minutes to go with a toe-poke just narrowly missing the target so the margin has been really small, we're close, not close enough, but close enough to get those wins that we deserve so what we've got to do is not forget all the good things that we've been doing and let's not throw all that out of the window searching for the win and we end up with the wrong result so we've got to make sure that we're building because it's a process and it's about building habits." He commented.

"I think that defensively we've been solid overall, now we've got to be a little bit better with the ball, we've got to attack with purpose and we've got to have more bodies in the box, more attempts at goal, allow the players especially the attacking players to play with a little bit more freedom and flair to express themselves. I think that those things come with winning and those things come with winning and when we get that first win the confidence and team will grow."

Maamria believes that the January signings have massively boosted the squad as proven by Danny Rowe’s equaliser against Salford City.

"Strength in depth always helps, I think our additions have been good additions for us and I think that every one of them has played some part. Any addition that is going to improve the team is brilliant, it's always healthy competition and the training ground has been really good, and the players are very positive.

"It always helps when you finish the second half like we did on Saturday and that buzz after the game to get that point and the manner that we got that point against all odds and to finish the game as strongly as we finished that gives us a lot of confidence. So, what we've got to make sure is that we take all that positive from the game at the weekend and take it into the Mansfield game and we'll start the game nice and positive and I'm sure we'll get the right result."

In recent weeks, Latics have been without a few key men because of injury and Maamria says their return will immensely improve the performance of his team.

"Mani Dieseruvwe's injury hurt us a little bit, as well as Chris McCann's injury and those two players, will add us that little bit of thrust especially going forward. I think that the rest of the lads have made a difference, we can all see that.

"The transfer window is a distraction if you come to the 31st of January, I know what I've got I've just got to work with them and stop all these calls with agents and clubs 24/7. It's difficult for every manager not just myself and I'll be glad when the window closes if we get one or two in and one or two out that might happen, but my focus has to be on the next two games and let's see where we are."


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