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Sheridan Takes Positives From Wigan Test

17 July 2022

© Eddie Garvey

Manager John Sheridan took plenty of encouragement from the performance of his players against Wigan Athletic in their second pre-season outing despite being unable to see out the result.

For the best part of an hour, Latics bridged the gap against opposition from the Sky Bet Championship, taking a deserved half-time lead through Hallam Hope after a bright display during the opening period.

Playing again in humid conditions, there was a good confidence and shape about Sheridan’s side until a number of changes at the start of the second half changed the course of the game, but the manager took a lot from the match as preparations for the opening league fixture at Torquay United gather pace.

“I was really pleased with our first-half performance and the way we went about the game on the whole,” Sheridan said.

“We were playing against a strong team from the Championship and I was very happy with the way we played and how we held our own. I think we should have scored more than one in the first half but as a squad we can take a lot of positives.

“Wigan have got lots of good players and I knew they would keep the ball well. That said, we were able to nullify them, they didn’t have many chances and in terms of our match fitness levels, the game was a really good exercise for us.

“We scored a good goal through Hallam and it’s all about working towards our first league game and the players wanting to impress me to earn their place in the side.

“The players we’ve brought in are good lads and you can see they are gelling well. A lot of them are local, they all get on with each other and that’s going to be a big part of us doing well this season.

“We’re going to be playing this season in what is physically a tough league, so it’s important that we make sure our fitness levels are right and we are in the best shape possible as a squad.”

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Latics are back in action on Tuesday with a trip to National League North side Bradford Park Avenue before hosting Mansfield next Saturday.

With three weeks to go until the league campaign begins, Sheridan is pleased with the current make-up of his squad but says he is still aiming to make some additions in certain areas.

“We’ll be looking to give game-time to a few of the younger players on Tuesday and then we are back at home to face Mansfield which will be another good test for us,” he added.

“We had a couple of players missing today and I’m still looking to make a few additions. We probably need three or four players to make us stronger and we’ll also be looking to use the loan market potentially to strengthen in certain areas.

“There are a few players we are currently looking at and it’s important that we try to get them in during pre-season so we can continue to work on things.

“I’m not going to sign players for the sake of it. I’ve got to make sure they are the right additions for us as a squad, I’ve identified areas where we need to improve and I’m hoping to get them in before the first game of the season.

“It’s not just going to be about our starting XI, it’s about the full squad and making sure they’re all capable of competing in this league, which is going to be a tough division.

“We’ve got a difficult start at Torquay but it’s a very physical league so continuing to work on our fitness is important. There are a lot of big clubs in the league this season but I’ve got to try and make sure that Oldham are one of the teams that everyone fears and I believe we can do well.”


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