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Trio return for crunch showdown

Reporter: MATTHEW CHAMBERS
Date online: 13 March 2014

ATHLETIC are finding it difficult to bring in fresh blood ahead of the big test at Crewe on Saturday.

But prospects are boosted by the return of three major players to the squad.

Manager Lee Johnson is scouring the market - so far unsuccessfully - to find new players for the game against the club’s relegation rivals.

But Johnson benefits from the return of striker Jonson Clarke-Harris from suspension for a contest which pits Athletic, in 18th place, against a Crewe outfit in 22nd - but only two points behind.

Midfield loan man David Worrall is also back after being ineligible for the game against his parent club Rotherham, and winger James Dayton should have recovered from his knee injury.

Johnson hinted that if more than one loan player does arrive at Boundary Park in the next couple of days, it might mean a reshuffle.

At present, Athletic have four loan players: Mark Oxley, Worrall, John Paul Kissock and Gary Harkins.

“The biggest worry of it all is the loans. You can only play five loan players in one squad,” said Johnson.

“We have four already; if we got three more that would have to change things.”

Teams around Athletic face off against each other on what could be a pivotal weekend at the bottom of the table.

Carlisle, who lost 1-0 to Sheffield United last night, are at home to Stevenage. The Cumbrians are a point adrift of Athletic with a game in hand. Boro are a further point behind, also with a game in hand.

Tranmere, below Stevenage and in the drop zone on goal difference, have the chance to improve against bottom club Notts County.

And the two teams directly above Athletic, Crawley and Colchester, face each other.

Comments

So we have two more diddymen returning to action WOW Crewe will be frightened. Clarke-Harris will struggle coping with the pressure of expectation and unlikely to be able to handle 100% game time. McDonald needs to start converting his chances.

Oxley needs to be dropped or sent back to Hull as his erratic performances are costing us dear.

Lets not forget although we have 10 games left - 2 are against Orient away and Brentford at home so Saturday's fixture is critical.

You do make me laugh, major players indeed!!

They've been instrumental in taking us in to L2.
Thanks for all the goals you have scored JCH.
Worrall/Dayton - Recent times haven't had the run to become important.

Drop Macdonald, he is awful. 75% of his goals were in L2 or even lower.

If you are gonna play the 'young' lad Turner at least put Phillis/Harkins in with him, they have the ability to find him with a thru ball.

Was there a point in signing Rodgers? Is he any good? Who knows? LJ?????

In the past fortnight LJ has been quoted 'I've players who want to come here' in connection with inward transfers, it now appears that such movement is not on the cards. The whole transfer business relating to outgoing players at OAFC is clouded in mystery. We never hear what amount other clubs have paid, what clauses have been set in the respective contracts e.g. Tarkowski signs new 2 year deal, two weeks later gone. Is it the new stand, is it the shocking attendance levels, is it hard cash?

What I wouldn't give to have Keiran Lee, Chris Taylor, Dean Furman, Dale Stephens, Jose Baxter, Adam Rooney & Tarky right now.

Not to mention, Tierney, Vernon & Eardley.

Market price in total on these right now? Must be £10 million.

How much did we get for them £600K total.

SHOCK! We are still in L1.

How good would this have been?

Rachubka

Lee
Tarkowski
Kusunga
Tierney

Harkins
Stephens
Furman

Taylor
Baxter
Rooney

We'll never know.

Sorry but this just smacks of panic and despair.
BBC Sport headline: "Oldham weak and need help-Johnson".Please don't tell the world about our problems no matter how obvious they are. Is this a personal cry for assistance? Only spin the positive and if nothing is then just stay silent Lee.

I wish we had a Steve Evans in charge, someone who winds everyone up especially his players. He inspires them to go that extra mile turning a fairly ordinary group of players into a team of over achievers.But strong characters dont fit in at the ultra conservative OAFC, The last one(Ronnie Moore was never given a chance by the miserable, myopic mainstand moaners with their tedious "keep it on the deck latics, to feet to feet" mantra...

...Sadly due to where they sit, they seem to have too much influence on the way the club is run.Well Iv'e had enough of the safety first culture/mindset of the club, I want to see the kind of exciting, entertaining, in yer face, up and at em football that the Steve Evans' of the football world produce, not the Chuckle Brothers (to me to you)dross our Pep Guardiola wannabe has been boring us with all season...

...and if that means looking across to the dug out and seeing some lunatic going berserk occasionally then great, it just adds to the entertainment

"ATHLETIC are finding it difficult to bring in fresh blood..."

Is this because of the budget, a lack of players available or because none of them want to go to Latics and face the hostile fans, if they should dare to put a foot wrong and not score a hat-full of goals?

'Fortress Boundary Park' is currently not a nice place to ply your trade, if you are a footballer.

Well what can I say, I was full of cofidence when LJ took the helm, but we are in troubled waters yet again, I was under the impression that LJ was building for the future? well he probably is but where are we going then next season with this so called rebuilt team? We are in dire straghts with the squad now!! Loan players ha!! Other peoples cast offs you mean you will never find anything decent by loaning. How about giving Paul Scholes a shout he would make a good captain and stir them up a bit

Can't really add more to what has just been said but what sticks in the craw is why a good solid reliable performer like Cliff Byrne was sent packing because he 'wasn't part of the plans'. Remember Dickov dumping Gregan who the previous season had been the main driving force in keeping us up yet was deemed 'too old'? The Tarkowski affair is shameful-to another club IN THE SAME LEAGUE with no obvious replacement. No wonder self esteem has dropped when the message is that we are the alsorans of L1

Laticswaj.... Furman not fit to lace korey smiths boots, or weslowskis for that matter.as for adam rooney, he had more than enough chances to show his worth and will go down as one of the worst players I have seen. Scottish prem is clearly a joke.

 

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