New Oldham boss John Sheridan says Saturday’s derby match with Bury at Boundary Park has come at a good time for the hosts.
Sheridan returned for a second spell as Latics manager last week and, despite defeat in his first game away to Bradford last week, remains focused on climbing out of the relegation places.
Local rivals Bury were edged out by Walsall last weekend before beating Bradford on penalties in the FA Cup in midweek, but Sheridan says it would be naive to underestimate the fatigued side.
“I don’t think it will take its toll on Bury, because they got a result,” said Sheridan.
“They’ll be chuffed to bits – they put a shift in and got a really good result. They’re a good team so I’m expecting a really tough game.
“The honeymoon’s over for me, but obviously I’m looking forward to the game. It’s a good game for us – a derby, bragging rights, and it’s important we try to get a home win.”
After last weekend’s 1-0 defeat, Oldham are now winless in eight and are still searching for a first home win since August.
Bury are in a similarly poor run of form and are looking to buck a run of four consecutive League One losses, but Sheridan is keen to focus on the positives he can take from his own side.
“Defensively I felt our shape was very good last week,” said Sheridan.
“The defence have done alright as a unit – they have drawn a lot of games and have only been beaten by the odd goal.
“It’s about scoring goals, which is our problem. We need to be 20 yards further up the pitch to create scoring chances that will win us football matches.”
As well as results, one of Sheridan’s more pressing tasks is recruitment during the January transfer window – something he says is proving a struggle.
The 51-year-old is looking to strengthen the core of his team and bolster experience, but says he is looking for team performances rather than standout individuals.
“Training’s going well – myself and the players just need time to get used to each other. I want the team impressing me, not individuals.
“We’re very lucky to be involved in football. It’s a results business and I want to put a smile on everyone’s face.”
Image courtesy of OfficialOAFC via YouTube, with thanks.