Oldham Athletic manager Dean Holden lauded his players for restoring pride to the freefalling League One side with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Crewe Alexandra.
Conor Wilkinson’s low drive after linking with Danny Philliskirk after 74 minutes proved to be the game’s only goal, and saw Oldham end a three-match losing streak.
But Holden applauded all of his players at the end of the game after they responded to his rallying cry after a disappointing loss to MK Dons in midweek.
“We talked about the response after the last couple of games and past performances. We needed to bounce back and we needed to put pride back into the shirt,” he said.
“The fans turned up in their numbers and going home they will be very happy with the win and clean sheet. It’s fantastic for Joel (Coleman) to get a clean sheet on his debut and I’m absolutely made up for him.
“But, it was about getting the pride back and everyone to a man gave absolutely everything and I’m very happy with that.”
The former Latics captain reserved special praise for match-winner Conor Wilkinson who had been off ill for three days before Saturday’s game.
“Conor turned up today and has managed to come on and do the business,” he said.
“This win now gives a sense of hope for the rest of the season. What we now need to do, as I said after the couple of defeats we had, was to turn our attentions quickly to Rochdale.
“Us as staff will be doing that and preparing properly and the players will have to make sure they are ready as well because it will be a battle against them. Get a victory there and then it could be an exciting end to the season.”
The Latics were followed on the road by 700 fans, who created a brilliant atmosphere all afternoon and gave their team the support they needed to pick up only their second win in eight games and take themselves seven points clear of the relegation zone.
“I love when we all go over to the supporters at the end, similar to Port Vale, with the subs, support staff; everyone is together.
“It’s a great feeling because it is testing times when results are going against you. It’s an absolutely great feeling,” he said.
“Everyone behind the scenes are working really hard but people judge you on that 3-5pm and rightly so but when you do get the rewards of three points and a clean sheet, it is great for the staff and players to share that with the fans.”
Main image courtesy of Official OAFC via YouTube, with thanks.