Is it the end for Sheridan’s sinking ship?
Reporter: Jack Walton
Date published: 23 April 2022
With only three games remaining of the season, the picture now looks overwhelmingly bleak for Oldham Athletic.
Despite a valiant initial fightback when John Sheridan took charge after a dismal run under interim boss Selim Benachour, they now sit in 23rd place and trail both Stevenage and Barrow by four points, and both of those sides have a game in hand.
If Oldham lose at Boundary Park to Salford City on today, and both of those sides win, then the fight to remain in League Two will officially be over.
Unless Sheridan can pull off his greatest miracle yet, Latics will become the first ex-Premier League side to be relegated from the football league.
It’s a statistic regurgitated so many times this season as Oldham have struggled and relegation has loomed larger and larger that fans will have it burnt into their brains.
The weekend’s opponents Salford have had an underwhelming season relative to their financial pull but still have an outside chance of making the playoffs - sitting three points behind seventh placed Tranmere.
They have the league’s fourth most impressive defensive record and their highest scorer has been 23-year-old forward Brandon Thomas-Asante, with 10 league goals.
In light of the significance of the game, Oldham fan group Push the Boundary have implored the club to make entry to the match free of charge, or at least charge a “minimal fee” in order to get as many people as possible supporting the team.
John Sheridan was reflective and realistic following Monday’s 2-0 defeat to league leaders Forest Green, if not completely resigned to the fate of his team.
He said: “It's going to be very difficult. I've got to still have a little bit of hope while there are three games, but it's going to be very difficult.
"The other teams are picking points up, Stevenage and Barrow.
“I feel as though we've probably got to win the last three games, and even that might not be enough. Four points is a massive gap now with three games to go, and they've got that game in hand as well.”
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