Latics' boss positive ahead of first home game this weekend

Reporter: Simon Smedley
Date published: 09 August 2019

Now over a month into his tenure, Athletic boss Laurent Banide is striving hard for improvement upon improvement within his talented young squad.

After Wednesday night's morale-boosting 3-2 Trophy win against Liverpool's under-21s side, it's back to the bread and butter of Sky Bet League Two tomorrow as Crewe head north to Boundary Park.

Banide is hoping a bumper crowd turns out for the first home game of the new league campaign, as his Athletic side look to secure their first points of 2019/20 following last weekend's opening-day single-goal loss at Forest Green.

Crewe were thumped 3-0 at home by Plymouth in their season-opener, but the post-match statistics indicated that the result flattered the victors on the day.

Banide said, "We have to respect the Crewe team a lot.

"However, we have to concentrate on playing to our own potential.

"After the last game we need to make some corrections. We have to keep doing better each time.

"We have choices, though.

"We know there are a lot of games early in the season, and we need fresh players to be available.

"I think we've got that. I think we've got a good balance."

One major injury doubt ahead of tomorrow's game surrounds front-man Desire Segbe-Azankpo.

He is struggling to shake off an ankle problem and is rated as 50/50 to make it for the Crewe test.

Meanwhile, Banide has said he is settling into life at Oldham, just over a month after being appointed to the manager's job.

The 51-year-old Frenchman said, "I'm very happy to be here.

"I know the project that's in front of me.

"I saw the difficulties, but this is my job here now and I'm working hard.

"There are some good young players here that we need to work with more, maybe with their tactics, but it's all very interesting.

"It's very intense at the moment because every three or four days we have a game, but we always try to start very fast.

"I keep trying to push the players, but every time I expect more.

"That is normal for a coach, they want the best team they can, but we've got a good spirit here and we need to keep working well."

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