Kewell ready for the challenges that await at Latics

Reporter: Simon Smedley
Date published: 04 September 2020

New Latics head coach Harry Kewell appears more than ready for the numerous challenges that undoubtedly lie ahead with the 2020/21 EFL season now less than 24 hours away.

Behind closed doors of course, Latics get their new campaign under way tomorrow with a Carabao Cup first round home tie against Chris Beech's Carlisle United.

Now having been in his latest role for a month, Australian former Liverpool and Leeds playing star Kewell (41) is desperate to make it third time lucky after manager spells at Crawley Town and a stint at Notts County, which lasted only 14 games before he was sacked.

Kewell, whose new-look squad have enjoyed a generally impressive pre-season campaign, said: "Every football job is challenging, they're all tough.

"I know it'll be difficult at Oldham, but I'm going to enjoy it.

"I'm determined to express myself in this role. It's a great league, and all the players want to learn, which is great.

"If we want to get to that next level you've got to start at the beginning and work your way up.

"Already there's a good foundation in place.

"The opportunity to come here was huge for me. This club has had some pain, but there's lots of potential here.

"We need to get wins on the board to get the fans back.

"We might need to take it nice and steady and slow, but it's also about giving your all and hopefully we'll soon get those foundations right."

Kewell, who admitted he has learned mistakes from his two previous management positions, was asked about his apparent long-standing relationship with Latics owner Abdallah Lemsagam, and the club's recruitment policy.

Previous boss Dino Maamria cited differences of opinion with the owners regarding recruitment as a reason for his departure from Boundary Park at the end of July.

"First and foremost I coach," said Kewell.

"Everything has been very open with the owners, and we've agreed about all the players who have been brought in. It's been perfect.

"The core of the squad is there now, and if we need to strengthen further, we will.

"We're still looking to gather one or two more new players before the league season starts."

Meanwhile, in the final days leading up to the new campaign Latics have signed central midfielder Ben Garrity on a season-long loan from Blackpool.

Garrity has spent a couple of weeks on trial with Latics during pre-season and particularly impressed against Lincoln City on Saturday, playing an instrumental role in the build-up to Conor McAleny’s goal.

The 23-year-old joined the Seasiders in January 2020 on an 18-month deal after impressing in the Northern Premier League with Warrington Town.

Latics' 2020/21 League Two campaign gets under way with a home game against Leyton Orient on Saturday week, September 12.

* EX-Latics star Jermaine Johnson is recovering in hospital after he was involved in a shooting incident in his homeland Jamaica.

According to the Jamaica Observer, Johnson, aged 40, was one of three people shot in the capital city Kingston yesterday (Thursday).

Winger Johnson was at Boundary Park on loan between 2004 and 2006, making a total of 39 appearances and scoring nine goals.

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