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Club News

Mellon On Reflects On Break & Return To Action

13 February 2024

Club News

Mellon On Reflects On Break & Return To Action

13 February 2024

Micky Mellon says he has looked to use the last ten days productively, as his Latics side embark on a busy run of fixtures.

Tonight's home game against Boreham Wood marks the start of six fixtures in the space of three weeks as the latter part of the campaign approaches.

With the games now coming thick and fast, preparation for such a busy period has been key as the manager looks to return to winning ways.

“I’ve looked to use the break as productively as possible, trying to use the time right to get the lads recharged, but also keep working on things we want to work on," Mellon said.

“We’ve been looking at keeping the team moving forward, building relationships between players, because a few new lads have come in.

“They want to get to know each other that bit better, and are getting a feel for the environment.”

One aspect of preparation has been the playing of a behind-closed-doors fixture against Manchester United U21s at Carrington at the weekend.

Latics played two different sides in each half, with everyone given a run out and chance to maintain match fitness.

Oldham came out on top in that game, running out 3-1 winners in west Manchester.

Among those who featured in that game were Youth Team players Alfie Atherton and Mo Doro, with both hungry to prove themselves in a first team environment, the former bagging a goal.

“We were able to have a behind closed doors game against Manchester United which was positive.

“We got a lot out of that game because we were able to try some different things.

“Playing people in different positions, and things like that, it was really good for us to learn about the team.

“The players got a 45-minute test each, which was good for them, and we’ve come out of it without any real injuries.

“It was important for all 22 lads to get some time under their belts.

“Both Alfie and Mo gave really good accounts of themselves, they’re both young lads but did really well.

“It was a tough game for them to play in, and they both showed great qualities which is fantastic from youth players.

“I’m still learning a lot about the football club and I’ve learned that we’ve got two really good young players there. That’s promising for the future."

Squad depth is key at any time of the season, but especially during a period as busy as the one Latics find themselves in, and the manager is more than aware that he’ll need all his players to stand up and be counted over the next few weeks.

“The forthcoming fixtures are why it was so important for all of them to get 45 minutes during that bounce game," Mellon added.

“We’re going to need them all for one reason or another, whether it be freshening up the starting 11, or if injuries come into play.

“Everyone has to be ready now, because they’ve all been brought here to play for Oldham, so that’s what they’ll do if the opportunity comes up.

Mellon also provided an injury update on striker James Norwood, and the squad as a whole, after he was forced off during the second half of the last league game away at Ebbsfleet.

“James has a hamstring injury and is going to be out for the next few games," he said.

“We have one or two other niggles which might leave people unavailable for tonight, but nothing that I believe will get in the way of the team getting a positive result."

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