Latics confident ahead of game on Saturday after win at Walsall

Reporter: Simon Smedley
Date published: 23 October 2019

Latics will head to Port Vale this Saturday high on confidence and ready to build on the morale-boosting midweek win against Walsall.

Dino Maamria's side sunk the Saddlers thanks to a first goal of the season from Scott Wilson and another well-taken effort from Desire Segbe-Azankpo.

That came on the back of a run of four defeats in the previous five games, so Maamria now wants to build on a well-deserved win with another positive showing at Vale Park.

Maamria sai,: "Port Vale have got a massive pitch so we'll have to be physically and mentally ready, but we had a positive night on Tuesday and hopefully we can build on that.

"That's something we didn't do after the Morecambe win recently. We then went to Carlisle and we were lacklustre.
"It will be difficult there. Port Vale had a good win away from home (at Bradford) on Tuesday, and I know they're a hard-working side.

"I know what they've got, so it's up to our players to be ready for that physically.

"It's a long season, though. The win against Walsall was a building block, but we can still do certain things a little bit better.

"There's still a huge process to go through if we're to get win after win after win.

"The teams at the top of our division have been together two or three years now.

"We're still a new squad, a multi-cultural squad, so it's a bit different.

"They are together, though, like they showed on Tuesday, and hopefully that will make us stronger."

With a number of injuries and suspensions to senior players still hampering him, Maamria has re-affirmed his faith in the talented young players coming through the Boundary Park ranks.

During the past two games teenagers Lewis McKinney, Reece Gaskell and Zac Emmerson have all been handed debuts from the bench, with the latter, at just 15 years and 73 days old, being revealed as the second-youngest ever Football League player.

"Since I've been here I've looked at all the resources, and I've been impressed with the academy set-up," added Maamria.

"When I was at Stevenage I gave five or six teenagers their debuts, but these boys who have featured this week will definitely feature again.

"We want to get them involved with the first team because they are part of our future.

"They've been brilliant for the squad, they're fresh, they play with energy and they've definitely got something about them.

"It gives everyone at the club a lift, so it's something we're going to move forward with, in terms of our youth policy."

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