Oldham’s playoff prospects ‘looking up’ says Holden after rumbling Rochdale in derby

Dean Holden praised his players’ “great performance” as Oldham Athletic beat bitter local rivals Rochdale 3-0 for the second time this season.

Oldham capitalised on defensive frailties as Rhys Turner scored twice and Jonathan Forte notched his 15th goal of the season to secure an emphatic El Flatcapico win.

Victory takes them up to 11th in a tightly-packed League One and, with Oldham just four points from the play off places, Holden believes a game-by-game approach will help them continue their climb up the table.  

“Rochdale are a tough team to play against. They play it out from the back and play it up with quality so it was important to keep our distance and being in a position to pick up the second balls,” he said.

“It was about having a good shape behind the ball and playing from there and I thought we did that well.

“It’s important we keep a clear head now and do the right things. The most important thing now is that we recover for Saturday against Bradford. It’s going to be a tough ask to go there so it’s important the lads recover well.”

Consecutive wins over Crewe Alexandra and Rochdale have snapped a poor run of form that saw the Latics pick up just six points in eight games.

Former captain Holden believes it is crucial that his team carry this momentum into Saturday’s clash with Bradford City if they are to mount an improbable, late push for the play-off places.

“It was important to get a win at Crewe and climb the table instead of looking downwards,” said the 35-year-old.

“All of a sudden we have started looking up. We can’t look beyond Bradford now and we can’t get too excited.

“It is important now that we build on what we have done in the last two games. The fans responded tonight and there was a lot of optimism around the ground again which is great.”

Main image courtesy of Oldham Athletic via YouTube, with thanks.

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