We speak to Oldham Athletic fan Joe Bray (@) ahead of tomorrow’s League One clash at Glanford Park
The 2-0 win over Scunthorpe last month has been followed up with two defeat and a draw in the League. How frustrating is it, that having beaten the league leaders, you have not managed to kick on?
So frustrating. We finally clicked as a team that game, then went straight back to making the same mistakes as before for the following two defeats. It seems like that win was a complete one-off and must have been an off-day for Scunthorpe rather than a turning point for Latics.
Our manager Graham Alexander has said that he is not out for revenge, just the three points. Are you worried you might face a bit of a backlash following the 2-0 defeat at your place a few weeks ago?
I’m very worried, Scunthorpe have reacted well to that defeat and have a great opportunity to make amends quickly. I like what I hear from Alexander and I can’t see him accepting another result and performance like the game at Boundary Park. It’s strange to have both fixtures so close and I’d imagine that favours Scunthorpe more than Oldham. If you offered me a point right now I’d snap your hand off.
Is the gaffer starting to come under pressure and if so, do you think that is justified?
It’s always hard when you give a manager his first job as you’ve got to expect inconsistency and time for his squad to gel. However, as much as Robinson talks a good game, he’s not showing many signs that he knows how to improve our fortunes.
We’re the lowest scorers in the country, and every defeat seems to follow exactly the same pattern. If he’s not learning from his mistakes and the fans don’t even have the odd goal to cheer, I think the pressure is completely justified.
Connor Ripley has been hailed as the best ‘keeper outside the Premier League by your manager this week. How important a player will he be if you are to beat the drop?
I think we’d easily be bottom if Ripley hadn’t made some of the saves he has done this season. With him and Peter Clarke at the back, we’re still in touch with the rest of the league. He’ll easily go on to have a career in the Premier League if he keeps up his impressive performances. As important as Ripley has been though, our problem is scoring goals and if that area doesn’t improve it doesn’t matter how good the keeper is.
Who else should we look out for? Are there any players that may play tomorrow that didn’t play in the reverse fixture in October?
In recent games, Ollie Banks has returned to the team following injury to Paul Green and has definitely improved from an inconsistent start to his Latics career. Winger Ryan McLoughlin will probably start on the right after earning a place in the side since our last meeting. He’s got a great cross on him, but our strikers are still reluctant to get into the box. If Ryan Flynn is on form we might have a chance of nicking a point, but too often he goes missing in games.
Where will the game be won or lost?
It’s a game between the league’s highest scorers versus the lowest, so I expect the confidence of Josh Morris, Paddy Madden and others to be the difference. If Scunthorpe wait for Latics to make a mistake, then they should win the game. Saying that, I said exactly the same last month and was proved completely wrong!
On a slightly different note, Oldham have slashed ticket prices to just £15 for home games. How did that work out last week against Wimbledon?
The crowd didn’t really increase, but the move has been well-received. It came about on the back of a fan survey to improve attendances. It’s a good step because prices were too high, but fans won’t return until there’s something worth seeing on the pitch. We’ve only scored in two home league games all season, so I don’t think the cost is the issue at the moment.