Mansfield trip presents make-or-break opportunity for Curle’s side

Reporter: Jack Walton
Date published: 08 October 2021

Latics’ will take 640 fans to Mansfield’s One Call Stadium this weekend in an early season six-pointer at the foot of the football league.

The campaign might not be a third of the way through yet, but both outfits will already be fearing the worst in regards to relegation - sitting 22nd and 23rd in the fourth division table.

The teams boast a meagre two wins each after ten matches.

Following last week’s Harrogate defeat, manager Keith Curle said: "You take one step forward with the result (vs Rochdale), the coming together of the football club, and then you get a disappointing result again today and you've got to start building again. You've got to start building confidence back up again.”

At times this season off-field drama and protests against the ownership have become the main story at Oldham, perhaps distracting from just how bad things are on the pitch too.

But this clash marks the start of a run of winnable games for Curle’s side, who face Stevenage, Walsall and Carlisle after Mansfield, all of whom sit in the bottom half of the table.

Failure to turn around the club's fortunes at this juncture will surely be fatal for the manager.

Mansfield have numerous players missing due to injury - along with three suspensions, which could present an opportunity to the Latics.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Karl Evans is set to leave the club, just a year after joining.

He becomes the latest departure in a string of changes to the club’s senior management.

Young full back Benny Couto has also put pen to paper on a three year contract extension.

Curle said: “I've seen Benny mature over the summer and he's a real asset to the team. He's taken his chance and it was only right we showed real faith in his ability as the current crop of youngsters making their way through are a real credit to the football club and its supporters.”

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