Oldham ‘chomping at the bit’ to beat Bradford and save season, says Holden

Oldham Athletic manager Dean Holden is looking to round off a good week for the club with victory away to FA Cup quarter-finalists Bradford City.

Consecutive wins over Crewe Alexandra and bitter rivals Rochdale in ‘El Flatcapico’ saw the Latics end a three-game losing streak and revived hopes of a late push for the play-offs.

But though Holden has one eye on the bigger picture, he insists that he will take the rest of the season one game at a time.

“We have had two very good wins in the last four days and it’s been a pleasing week up to now. We are only fully focused on Saturday,” he said. 

“It’s great to look back on at the end of the season as we’ve had two good victories over our rivals but for us as a group it is about focussing on Saturday’s game. 

“We are one performance away from not throwing our season away but undoing all that hard work so the next performance is the most important one.”

Saturday’s opponents Bradford City have drawn three league games on the bounce and crashed out of the FA Cup after being humbled by Championship side Reading.

The Bantams are just two places behind Oldham and are also optimistically targeting the play-off places having shocked both Chelsea and Sunderland earlier in the season.

So Holden knows a tough game awaits them at Valley Parade on a pitch that has given many teams problems this season, including Premier League opposition.

“It’s not a concern, but we might have to adapt a couple of things on the day,” admitted the 35-year-old.

“At Crewe, the pitch wasn’t that great there either so you have to adapt to the conditions. 

“We know what we are in for coming up against Bradford and we know all about them. We will be prepared physically and mentally come kick off and I’m looking forward to another good game with a big following behind us.”

Oldham have been beset by injury troubles in recent months with James Wilson, Liam Kelly (both calf), Jacob Mellis, George Elokobi, and Joseph Mills (all hamstring) enduring lengthy stays on the medical table.

But the return of players to training and imminent comeback of others fills Holden with hope for the last eight games of the season.

“We had three back yesterday morning, Liam [Kelly], James [Wilson] and Joseph [Mills]. Jacob [Mellis] will probably be back involved in the training next week so we’ll see how them three lads come through,” he said.

“They are chomping at the bit so it’s great to have them around.”

Main image courtesy of CFC Official via YouTube, with thanks.

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