Bunn - 'We need positive support'
Reporter: Simon Smedley
Date published: 13 August 2018
Athletic manager Frankie Bunn
Manager Frankie Bunn has reiterated again that Athletic are effectively ‘starting again’ following last season's relegation, as he bids to reassure fans who have been disappointed with the opening two games of this term.
Preparations are almost complete ahead of tomorrow’s (Tuesday, 7.45pm) home Carabao Cup first round tie against Championship big guns Derby County, but at this afternoon’s pre-match press briefing, Bunn was keen to reach out to fans who have been critical following the League Two opening-day defeat by MK Dons and Saturday’s draw at Forest Green.
Athletic were booed off by almost 1,000 travelling fans at half-time at the New Lawn when a goal down, but they hit back and secured a point thanks to Dan Gardner’s successful late spot-kick.
Bunn said: “You hear people’s negative comments and I’m thinking ‘why?’
“We’re a good young team with young talented players who are full of potential, and we have to start somewhere.
“We’re having a go.
“We did well against MK Dons, certainly in the second half when we should have come away with something.
“We then had to dig in at Forest Green, and we came away with something.
“We’re just looking for young players at the moment, and that’s where we’re at.
“Gone are the times when Oldham can spend money on players, so we need people’s support.
“We’re trying to start again here and it’s going to take time.
“People need to respect that and give us that time.
“This is where the club is – we’re trying to start again, we’re trying to put foundations down for the future.
“These young boys with potential are our future.
“Those (Premier League) days are gone. We are where we are and we’ve got to build from here.
“We need positive support, not doom and gloom. We’ve had enough of that over the last five or six years – probably longer than that.
“Let’s start getting behind the young players at this club and give them a chance.”
Macclesfield Town are next up in the league at Boundary Park on Saturday, but tomorrow Frank Lampard brings his side to Oldham for what promises to be a mouth-watering early test of Athletic’s credentials.
Asked whether he had treated preparations differently for the Rams clash, Bunn replied: “It’s the same as, for me.
“Each game is important and we go and try and win every game.
“It’s going to difficult, of course. Derby have spent millions upon millions of pounds, and we haven’t.
“They’ll probably come with a totally different team to the weekend, but they are still a top Championship club, who perhaps should be in the Premier League, certainly given the facilities and the structure of the club.
“They could probably pick three teams so it will be interesting to see what sort of side they put out, but I’m sure Frank Lampard will want to win this game just as much as we do.
“For us, though, just to play well against a top Championship club will be positive.
“And if we do play well, we may just give ourselves a chance.”
Bunn will choose from the same group of players as were available at the weekend.
Injuries to players like skipper Peter Clarke, Andy Taylor and Sam Surridge have not yet cleared up.
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