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Interviews

Maamria: “I'm A Big Fan Of 4-4-2"

29 January 2020

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Latics put on an impressive display to pick up three points against Mansfield Town at Boundary Park and Head Coach Dino Maamria gave his verdict on the win.

The Head Coach was extremely proud of the performance from his side in the 3-1 win against the Stags.

"I think that we needed that so credit to the players. They applied themselves brilliantly and they focused on ourselves before the game because we knew that on Saturday, we didn't play any type of football.

"We had to go back and do what we do best, you know, footballers enjoy having the ball and that's what we've gone back to. I think that we were really brave to get on the ball and we played through the thirds, I thought the first-half was outstanding although the second-half was more difficult, we managed to get a third goal and we could have scored more.

"The most important thing from the game was the win and that's put us five games unbeaten now and it makes the picture much better."

Maamria praised the character of the players to continue their unbeaten run to five matches.

"To be fair, I'm surprised at Mansfield because they have got a brilliant squad of players and it might be a better squad than last season and for some reason, things aren't going for them, but I watched the game the other weekend and they beat Bradford City and beat them well although it really wasn't about them, it was about us first and foremost.

"We've been very close to winning the last four games, drawing instead, I don't mind draws because you want to stay unbeaten, you don't want to lose the game and you want to keep picking up points.

"Yes, we should have won one or two more games of the previous four, but we didn't although I think that the Mansfield game was a complete performance, but it was disappointing to concede the goal in the last 30 seconds. You know what I'm like I'm a perfectionist and I like the perfect performance so that put a little bit of a dampener on it for me, but the boys were fantastic." He added.

"As a squad we are together, the lads on the bench, the lads who didn't play, the togetherness in the dressing room is the best it's been. I think that when adversity comes through the group of players showed what they're about really and that's probably gave me a lot of hope going forward because when things aren't going well and there's a lot of negativity around the team showed it's character. Are they going to fade away as individuals or are they going to come together and fight for the cause? We showed against Mansfield and we showed on Saturday to be fair when we came back in the second-half and the performance was outstanding."

Latics lined up in a 4-4-2 formation and that’s something that Maamria wants to continue into the future.

"I think that the pleasing thing was that we picked the right team for tonight anyway. We've been struggling with illnesses last week and there's a lot of things that go on behind the scenes which people don't know about.

"I'm a big fan of 4-4-2 and I'm going to try and build a team around a 4-4-2, but sometimes with the personnel, it doesn't work how we want it to work.

"Against Mansfield, we found that team that I know is going to play a lot of good attacking football and hopefully we'll get stronger and stronger as the season goes on."

Striker Zak Dearnley was rewarded after his assist against Salford City with a start and the youngster certainly caught the eye again.

"Zak [Dearnley] has always been close to starting and we've been working on his fitness because he hasn't played any football for about six to seven months, so I've been trying to put him on in the last few games in the last half an hour or so and I felt that he was ready for the Mansfield game.

"He played around 60 minutes which is enough for him because we don't want to break him down, but he's got so much quality so when we get him fitter he'll be a very good asset for us." He commented.

"Cameron [Borthwick-Jackson] came on and made his debut and showed his quality especially his composure on the ball and he defended really well and got us playing from the back as well offering us that quality going forwards, which gave the team a lot of confidence in the middle of the park.

"Our midfield was also very good on the night, so it was a team performance and as I said, everybody contributed and a big well done to everyone.

"Cameron is a Premier League player playing in League Two. To be fair to him, he came in and put his head down and he knows what he needs to do to put his career back on track.

"He's a humble guy and his quality is there for everybody to see, we're lucky to have him and let's see what happens if we can keep him next season that would be brilliant. He is enjoying his football and he's another one that is very happy to be here and that's always pleasing to see."


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