St George’s Day is not until April but Oldham’s manager Lee Johnson wants his side to call upon the spirit of the fabled knight and defeat the Bristol City beast on Saturday.
The Latics have gone 13 games unbeaten in all competitions but face their sternest test of the season when they travel to Ashton Gate.
Bristol City are yet to taste defeat in the league this season and are the bookmakers’ favourites to win the league, however Johnson feels this takes the pressure off his Oldham team.
“They are unbeaten so far this season, so that gives us the added bonus of, ‘can we go and slay the dragon?’” he said.
“It is important we do it for the division because they have been absolutely flying. It is up to us to exploit their weaknesses, which I think we can do.
“It’s a big game but it is no bigger than the games coming up. But if we do get a result and win, it will really send a statement to the league and that is what we have got to do now.
“We have been in the top four or five in the form table and we need to kick on now. The top eight or nine in the league are slightly separating themselves but we want to compete and do our best.”
Johnson’s side will need to be at their best on Saturday if they are to beat City, who have been top of League One since mid-September.
But the Robins are not without their weaknesses – they have not kept a clean sheet for nine games, while Oldham have scored 18 during the same period.
City top-scorer Aaron Wilbraham has been struggling with a back injury, but is expected to feature.
Oldham, meanwhile, welcome back club captain Adam Lockwood who is yet to play this season because of a foot injury, while George Elokobi (thigh) is set to miss out.
“Although we’ve got to respect Bristol City as the best club in the division, we’ll go there full of hope and try and play our game,” Johnson said.
“It will be a really good spectacle for League One, full of attack-minded play. It will probably be a bit scary for the two managers but if I was looking to pay £25 to watch a game, that’s the one I’d pick.”
Main image courtesy of OAFC Official via YouTube, with thanks.