Judgement Day clash for Latics
Reporter: MATTHEW CHAMBERS
Date online: 14 January 2014
WALSALL aren’t too far ahead of Athletic in achieving success on a tight budget, says Lee Johnson.
The Oldham manager takes his team to the Banks’s Stadium tonight for what he says is a “judgement day” clash.
Athletic’s boss is hoping to put on a much better show than earlier in the season against a Saddlers side aiming to jump into the top-six with a victory.
James Baxendale’s only goal of the game condemned leg-weary Athletic to a 1-0 defeat in the first league home match of the season.
Since then the Saddlers have continued to go from strength to strength, with manager Dean Smith presiding over a squad whose Achilles heel is a lack of goals - 28 in 25 games.
“It is a good game for us,” said Johnson. “We didn’t give a good enough account of ourselves against Walsall earlier in the season, so the idea is to go there and play a lot better,” said Johnson.
“They have a good manager and are very organised and disciplined. While they don’t score too many goals, they don’t concede many either.
“They have a similar energetic style to us and it should be a good game. I don’t think we are too far off them, though.
“They have been able to keep their squad together and get that repetition of learning through the training.”
“This is a judgement day for us. If we are saying that about Walsall and with everyone fully fit, then the question for us is can we produce a good performance and a positive result - to prove we are up at that level?”
The Saddlers are seventh in Sky Bet League One and haven’t been outside the top half all season.
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