Oldham Athletic manager Dean Holden denies there is nothing to play for in the final game of the season as the Latics play Peterborough United on Sunday.
Former club captain Holden wants to end the season on a high and start building momentum towards next season despite Sunday’s opponents falling short of the play-offs and playing more than anything now for pride after the recent death of former player, manager, chairman and owner, Chris Turner.
Oldham, 16th in League One, are safe from the threat of relegation and their chance of making the play-offs ended several weeks ago, but Holden rejects the point of view that the season’s final game will be for ‘nothing’.
“You would give anything as a kid to go out in a professional game so I don’t get what people mean by playing for nothing,” he said.
“For pride, professionalism, that kid inside you that wanted to be a professional footballer not for the fame or the money, just wanted to go out there and make a career for himself. That’s what I’ll be looking for the lads to do tomorrow.”
And with the fans already clamouring for tickets for next season in the new North Stand, Holden is hoping a win on the final day will be the start of an exciting summer for Oldham.
“I think it’s important now that we try and focus on going out with a bang and send the fans home into the summer break with some optimism,” he said.
“We want to finish the season, starting into next season with a real sense of optimism.
“The players and people at this football club have got a huge part to play. We give the fans something to look forward to on a weekend because they have worked all week so I think it’s important that we do the right thing on Sunday.”
The 35-year-old took over the reins at Oldham in February after Lee Johnson left for Barnsley, and reflected on his two-and-a-half months at the helm.
“It’s been an up-and-down season and there has been a lot going on, on and off the pitch. People around the club, including staff, have had a lot to deal with,” he said.
“I’ve absolutely loved every minute and I’m grateful for the opportunity. Let’s hope we can finish with a win on Sunday.”
Main image courtesy of OAFC via YouTube, with thanks.