When we played Oldham in October it was David Dunn’s first game as their new permanent manager. He has since managed his last game for them too, as the revolving door for managers at the struggling Boundary Park club continued turning. Dunn was their fourth manager in less than a year.
However, where all others have failed to turn round results, the latest incumbent, John Sheridan, is making some headway in Oldham’s fight against relegation. He has produced a new-manager Daws/son-like bounce in results that sees the team unbeaten in five games- a run that includes three wins, two in their last two games. As if we need any further reminders that struggling teams can still carry bite following last week’s hiccup at Fleetwood!
So we really need to be back to our best to see off Sheridan’s rejuvenated Oldham, who will be nothing like the fall-guys we beat 4-2 win at their place. Sheridan has had success at various clubs and it is no surprise that he has made a difference in this, his second stint at Boundary Park.
The team come to Glanford Park with confidence high after those back-to-back wins, the first against third-placed Gillingham. The winner was scored by the Iron Enigma himself, Jonathan Forte, who will no doubt get a decent reception back at the scene of the old debate about whether he ever had more than potential in his locker.
The second win was on Tuesday night, 2-1 at Peterborough, level with us in the table, though on a bad run.
As would have been expected of a struggling team, Sheridan quickly looked to improve his attack by signing a couple of strikers, loanees Curtis Main from Donny and Aaron Amadi-Holloway from Wycombe. However, it is the team’s overall confidence on the back of their recent run that we should fear most. We don’t want Nick Daws’ first game as permanent manager to go the way of David Dunn’s.
If we are to make the play-offs, we need to target the teams in fifth and sixth places who are slightly adrift of the top four. So we need Fleetwood to now help us out by beating Coventry – manager Steven Pressley making his first return to the Ricoh Arena since being sacked by Coventry a year ago.
And we will also have to cheer on Donny in the hope that they can win at home to Millwall. Southend are also back in the frame after that great win over leaders Burton. Hopefully, Port Vale can dent their celebrations on Friday night.
This is all predicated on us winning of course. Our play-off hopes cannot withstand many more defeats, especially at home.
Wigan fans will be hoping for a dry, sunny day on Easter Monday, when League One Wigan Atheltic and Super League Wigan Warriors both play at their home ground, the DW Stadium, on the same day for the first time in their 17 years of sharing. Athletic take on Rochdale at 1.30 and Warriors play Hull KR at 8pm.
Groundstaff will have to be at their best to re-mark the pitch and change the posts after the football match. But if it’s raining the whole thing could turn into a green, brown and white quagmire.