John Sheridan has made things simple for his Oldham players ahead of tonight’s home game against Blackpool by insisting – we have to win.
The Latics have shown incredible fight in their League One relegation battle since Sheridan returned to the club to replace David Dunn in January.
Before Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Sheffield United, the Latics had gone seven games unbeaten, dragging themselves within a point of Blackpool and three from safety, with two games in hand.
And ahead of tonight’s six-pointer against a struggling Pool side, Sheridan wants nothing but a win.
“We have a massive game against Blackpool and we have to bounce back,” he said.
“It’s huge for us and it’s important we get a win tonight.It could be massive for us if we can.
“These are the games we have to win against the teams in and around us. I wasn’t too hard on the players after Saturday’s game.
“I am sticking with them as they have done brilliantly for me since I came back.”
Six of the league’s bottom seven lost on Saturday, with only bottom club Colchester earning a point in a 3-3 draw against Wigan.
And that cheered Sheridan up after a tough afternoon at Bramall Lane.
He said: “The results were great for us at the weekend.
“We have two massive games now, both at home, starting with Blackpool tonight (Rochdale are Saturday’s visitors).
“I actually think we did OK on Saturday, as daft as that sounds. We lost 3-0 but it was individual errors which cost us the goals.
“Apart from that I thought we did all right, although we didn’t deserve anything.”
Oldham aren’t expected to make too many changes for tonight’s game, though Liam Kelly will return.
The midfielder wasn’t risked against Sheffield United but there’s no doubt Sheridan will throw him back in tonight.
“It was a last minute decision on Saturday not to play Liam Kelly,” explained the manager.
“I think we missed him. He has that drive and determination for us. He does the ugly things really well. He’ll be available tonight and he could come straight back in.”