‘No love lost’: Lee Johnson proud of dad Gary, but insist Oldham’s focus is three points against Yeovil Town

By Matthew Lees

Despite the unprecedented spotlight, Oldham Athletic boss Lee Johnson is undaunted by the eagerly anticipated father-son duel as Yeovil Town travel to Boundary Park.

The game – re-arranged twice due to Latics’ cup exploits and then wintry weather – pits promotion-chasing Yeovil against relegation-threatened Oldham.

A month into the job, Johnson comes up against father Gary who has more than 1,000 games in management and despite the family bond, stressed the importance of the encounter.

“I am proud of him as a dad but, at the same time, there will be no love lost come 7.45pm because it is such an important game for both clubs,” said Johnson jnr.

“There is no doubt it is tough playing for a team managed by your father.

“Together we were a good team and successful.

“Maybe he helped me, but maybe I helped him. That is the million dollar question and history, but now we find ourselves competing against each other as managers.”

Athletic will be without striker Dan Taylor, top-scorer Jose Baxter and captain James Wesolowski but Korey Smith, with 19 appearances for the Glovers earlier this season, has extended his loan deal.

Yeovil, without former Latic Rueben Reid after being loaned to Plymouth Argyle, are unbeaten in nine games against Oldham since February 2008 and have impressed once again this season. 

“They have some really good players and he has them punching well above their weight and they are a model to follow for certain clubs because they have done very well,” added the Latics boss.

“It shows what you can achieve if you have energy and commitment and a team which is willing to run and work hard for each other.

“I know he is my dad, but he has done a fantastic job on one of the lowest budgets in the division.”

While fans will be excited about only the second different father-son contest in English football, Lee’s mother and Gary’s wife Karon will be sat in the Boundary Park Main Stand.

“I haven’t a clue who she will be supporting. I thought it would be me, but I would say that, wouldn’t I,” joked Johnson jnr.

Image courtesy of Sky News, via YouTube, with thanks

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