Oldham Athletic manager Dean Holden insists that three points against struggling Crewe Alexandra could turn his side’s season around after six losses from their last seven games.
Saturday’s opponents Crewe have lost five of their last six and, just two points off the relegation zone, are mired in a battle for their League One survival.
Holden will be viewing the match as a chance to create distance between Oldham and the bottom four places, and has called on his players to make him proud.
“It’s a big game, absolutely. They all are now. We have struggled this year against teams we were expected to beat. On current form we are in a poor run of form but the message doesn’t change,” he said.
“You go out there and win your one v one battles and you give everything. You don’t take defeat lying down and the biggest thing for me is that the lads give everything.
“Three points turns our season around. It wasn’t long ago that we all went to Port Vale and we were proud as punch at the end of the game.
“It was a great performance, clean sheet and a real battling performance and we’ve been away from that over the last couple of games so that’s what we are looking to get back to.”
Oldham have picked up just three points from the last seven games – a record that has seen them sliding perilously closer to a relegation dogfight.
But Latics’ former captain insists the team can reverse their recent poor fortune if they head into Saturday’s game full of confidence.
“The lads are as disappointed as any the run of form we are on but every time you suffer adversity, it gives people a chance to respond. That’s the challenge for us now and, absolutely, the lads are behind it,” said Holden.
“In training they are looking the part, it’s just going into a matchday. It’s a lack of confidence because of the results if we are honest. It’s all about picking the lads up and making sure we are in fine form ahead of Crewe on Saturday.”
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