Mission accomplished for caretaker boss Tony Philliskirk as Oldham Athletic climb out of drop zone

By Kim Richards

Caretaker boss Tony Philliskirk declared it mission accomplished as Oldham Athletic produced a second-half fight back at Stevenage to take them out of the relegation zone.

James Dunne fired the hosts in front but goals from captain Dean Furman and James Tarkowski completed a stirring comeback as Latics picked up three crucial points.

Philliskirk admitted his side were below par in the first half but lauded their performance after the break.

“The goal, the target before the game, was to get three points to get us out of the bottom four which we achieved,” said Philliskirk.

“It was the ultimate game of two halves. We were very lacklustre, off the pace, leggy and tired in the first half when we were second best. 

“Credit to the players for turning it around in the second half to get us the goals which earned us three vital points.”

Victory came at a cost however as key players Carl Winchester, Cliff Byrne and James Wesolowski all suffered injuries.

Oldham are now unbeaten in their last three matches – including their last-minute draw with Everton in the FA Cup on Saturday.

Last night’s match-winner Tarkowski believes Latics’ fight to stay in League One must take precedence over next week’s FA Cup replay at Goodison Park however.

“Staying in this league is vital for the club and until recently we have not been putting in the performances,” said Tarkowski.

“We have picked up six points from the last two games and are happy with that.

“We are out of the relegation zone and we must make sure we stay out of it.” 

Latics now sit 20th in League One, one point above Colchester United, and face fellow strugglers Portsmouth at Boundary Park on Saturday.

Image courtesy of ITV Sport via Youtube, with thanks.

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