Oldham Athletic manager Lee Johnson sees a steel to his side that wasn’t there last season after comeback 2-1 win over Walsall at the weekend.
Jordan Cook had given the Saddlers an early lead, but Connor Wilkinson equalised in his last game before returning to Bolton, and Mike Jones’ 25-yard drive earned the Latics a thoroughly-deserved win.
Johnson spoke of the improvements his side, now unbeaten in ten games, has made since last term and of the team ‘spirit’ that binds his players together.
“We’ve not got great resources for the division, but we’ve got a good spirit, and not just in the players, but in the staff, the office staff and the fans,” he said.
“We need that and we showed that today again in coming from behind in a very difficult game against a very good side.”
“There should be a buzz because we’ve got a team that the fans can believe in and that’s what we talk about when we talk about ‘one team, one dream’, even though it might be a bit corny, and a bit cheesy.
“I don’t think we look powder puff now. Last year there were times when, maybe, we looked a bit powder puff.”
Johnson attributes this improvement to the additions he made over summer.
The Latics boss signed Dominic Poleon from Leeds, George Elokobi from Wolves, and Connor Wilkinson on loan from Bolton.
“Every player that we have recruited is comfortable having an effect in the first team,” he said.
“I think the key was recruitment – we recruited really well and we got value with good players.
“That’s enabled us to have, rather than six or seven good players that we had last year that we had to hang our hat on, we’ve now got 12 or 13, and we were able to get a couple who were on big money, and that’s really the important part of it.”
But Johnson was full of praise for man of the match and goal-scorer, Mike Jones.
“I think he has been magnificent, I really do,” he said.
“Obviously we’ve moved him from a wide player to a central midfielder, so we had to get a few tactical principles in him early on and since then he’s been superb.
“I’m more pleased for him than me for scoring that goal.”
Main image courtesy of OfficialOAFC via YouTube, with thanks.