Latics ready for the challenge at Cheltenham

Reporter: Simon Smedley
Date published: 04 October 2019

Plenty of hard work has been put in on the Latics training ground this week as boss Dino Maamria gears his squad up for Saturday's Sky Bet League Two visit of high-flying Cheltenham Town.

Maamria's tenure as Latics boss got off to a flyer with the 3-1 home victory over Morecambe, but the team were brought crashing back down to earth last weekend when they lost disappointingly 1-0 at fellow strugglers Carlisle United. 

Maamria said, "There's been a lot of work put into the players this week.

"We are still very much a work in progress don't forget.

"We all have to stay level-headed and keep doing things right, and we will.

"We've been look at certain things this week.

"Obviously the performance at Carlisle was not good enough. They scored early and then shut up shop, and we weren't able to break through.

"We are where we are, though, and certainly preparations for future away games will be different.

"We need to improve in certain areas. In fact our whole game intelligence definitely needs to improve."

Michael Duff's Cheltenham will arrive at Boundary Park this weekend in great nick.

They are currently third in the table having won four and drawn one in their last five matches.

"Obviously we will need to be at our very best," added Maamria.

"They're in their second or third year together now and you can see they're used to playing alongside one another.

"They play a certain way, and often keep the same starting XI.

"They're a strong side, but there's weaknesses too, so we have to try our best to exploit them.

"We just need to do what we do best at home."

Maamria took his squad to take on Premier League Burnley on Tuesday in a behind-closed-doors friendly match.

The Clarets - fielding a largely full-strength team - won 5-3, so Maamria was pleased that the exercise benefitted everyone in his squad and everyone came through it unscathed.

Goalkeeper Gary Woods is Latics' main injury worry ahead of Cheltenham's visit as he tweaked a groin injury at Carlisle.

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