Battle at the bottom as Oldham bid to start fighback

Reporter: Jack Walton
Date published: 04 February 2022

It seems a foregone conclusion that at least one of the sides lining up at Glanford Park at 3pm on Saturday will be stripped of their Football League status in May.

Oldham are 23rd, Scunthorpe are 24th, the fixture is a battle between the two lowest ranked teams in England’s professional divisions, and more pertinently - an absolute must-win if either side is to muster a push for survival.

The somewhat cliched turn of phrase ‘six-pointer’ was designed for games like this.

In other words, if the Shezerrection is to have lift-off - blasting Oldham to a third miraculous recovery under the Irishman, then it really has to start now.

Oldham’s gritty but goalless draw with Rochdale last week took them above Scunthorpe on goal difference last week, but they remain seven points adrift of safety with a paltry 19 points.

Between the two sides they have a combined three points from their last 30 available, although all three have gone to the Latics.

Speaking after the Rochdale fixture, at which over 8000 supporters turned up to welcome their returning manager, John Sheridan was humbled by the love on show for him.

He said: “It was an unbelievable turnout from the supporters.

“It's not about me, I've said before. I try to avoid getting involved in it but I love the support that they show me.

“Hopefully we can start winning games and I know they'll turn out again.”

In his assessments of the game, Sheridan took heart from the team’s desire and intensity, but recognised that significant improvements are needed on a technical level.

He said: “There was a good work ethic about us but we just huffed and puffed. We'll work on the shape again and how we'll play against Scunthorpe, different opposition, but there's not a lack of effort from the players.

“Sometimes when you probably deserve to lose a game you come out of the game with something, so I'll have to take that.”

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