Lee Johnson says sorry to Oldham Athletic fans after ‘bad day at office’ see Latics slip into relegation mire

By Kim Richards

Oldham Athletic manager Lee Johnson apologised to fans after his first defeat since succeeding Paul Dickov put Latics back into relegation trouble.

Latics left it too little too late to salvage a point after Carlisle United established a two-goal advantage, before Jose Baxter halved the deficit in the second half.

Johnson admitted the first half was below standard as his men struggled to find their feet and called on his side to come out fighting from the start.

“I don’t think it could have got any worse after the first half. It was very poor and I apologise to the fans,” he said.

“It is a bad day at the office and it is hurting me. All we can do is to take stock and learn quickly and get ready for two big away games.

“It is as though we need a punch on the nose to get going, but we need to retaliate first and make sure we are on the front foot.

“In the second we came out and gave it a go and the changes influenced the game and gave us momentum and energy allowing us to play on the front foot.”

Despite his disappointment at the defeat, Johnson took encouragement from a positive second-half performance.

But he admitted he wanted his side to be tougher when it comes to facing pressure as they bid to remain in League One.

“At least we have got a bit of pride restored in the second half by at least having a go,” he said.

“The players were leggy, yet yesterday they were razor sharp in training.

“That is down to mental toughness and mental desire. Winners can get six, seven eight out of ten even when they are a bit leggy, but I will take the blame for that as obviously I have overcooked it in training.

“We have all been leggy, but it is the desire to go and win. And going forward we have to be a lot tougher mentally.”

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