Injuries continue to hamper the Manager’s plans, though the four or five that are missing are not that far away from either training, getting minutes into games, or actually starting.
Chris Humphrey, Craig Jones and Danny Mayor are training and may warrant a place on the bench, either tonight or very soon. Stephen Dawson will be back running before the end of the week and Nathan Cameron should be in a similar position very soon.
Two players returned to the squad and have been involved in recent weeks. Eoghan O’Connell hasn’t missed a minute since his comeback from a pre-season knee injury and Jay O’Shea has been a used substitute on the three or four occasions that he has sat on the bench. He’s due to start a game, tonight could be it.
Who does he replace though? Jay O’Shea is the type of player whose name alone will worry any opposition manager – and rightly so. Jay arrived at the club over the summer with something of a reputation and one that can cause damage. He needs to be playing, for his own sake and for the club’s sake – to get this season up and running.
In the last few weeks, performances have improved, results have been collected – 3-0 against Oxford, 3-1 against Bradford City. We seem to be taking a giant stride forward in some games, and then around three or four steps backwards in the following games.
A dominant performance at Blackpool should have brought a positive result – it didn’t. A lapse in concentration for a second cost us the game. It happens, it will probably more than likely happen again. The trick is to convert the chances before that lapse in concentration happens.
Chances are being created and made. Chances are not being converted though – which then leads to a confidence problem, which then leads to a nervous problem.
The calibre of players brought in over the summer raised expectation and optimism to new heights. It’s not worked out as planned, the league table proves that, performances have been mixed. Some good, some exceptional, some not so good – things have to improve and results need to be picked up.
Many thought they would turn after the Oxford win, but things slipped quickly with a 2-0 defeat four days later at home to MK Dons. Victories at Blackburn and against Bradford again saw hopes raised – had we turned the corner? Then defeats at Blackpool and at Southend at the weekend. One step forward, three steps back.
There’s a renewed expectation amongst the squad, amongst the players – get to Oldham and put it right. Get at home on Saturday and put it right. Jay O’Shea should get back into the starting XI either tonight, or on Saturday. Others will soon follow – the Manager may be at a point in the coming weeks where he can boast a fully fit squad. It’s just around the corner, but results need to change, the mood needs to change – get that win, get some momentum. It needs to happen.
For Oldham, Queensy Menig looks set to retain his place in the Oldham XI for the game. The Nantes loanee made his first League One start of the season in Latics' 4-4 draw with MK Dons, and was replaced when Richie Wellens' men were 4-2 up.
In what was his first game since being appointed permanently, Wellens praised Menig for his performance in a game that also saw the return of Ryan Flynn from an Achilles injury. Ryan McLaughlin (hamstring), Courtney Duffus (illness) and Paul Green (Achilles) are all still out.
The Opposition View: Click here to visit the Official Oldham Athletic Website
Last time out: Sat 11 March 2017 – Oldham Athletic 0 Bury 0
Oldham and Bury stayed just above the League One relegation zone after playing out a tense and scrappy goalless draw.
Chances were at a premium between the north-west rivals, with both defences standing strong whenever they faced a spell of pressure.
Bury made an excellent start and could have gone ahead after 10 minutes when Taylor Moore volleyed wide from a good position.
Paul Caddis went close for the Shakers with a shot which deflected over, while Cameron Burgess brought a smart save from Oldham keeper Connor Ripley.
Oldham's first opening, after half an hour, came on the counter-attack but was pulled off target from 20 yards by Tope Obadeyi.
Ryan Lowe curled a shot wide for Bury before the dangerous Obadeyi cut inside from the right and drilled an angled effort beyond the far post.
Substitute George Miller fired straight at Ripley on one of the few occasions the visitors found space in Oldham's penalty area.
The best chance came in the 90th minute, but Ripley saved with his legs after Miller had been teed up by James Vaughan.
Referee: Tuesday’s referee is Mr Darren Drysdale from Lincolnshire
So far this season, Darren has taken charge of 14 games – showing 37 yellow cards and 3 red cards. His last game was on Tue 17 October when he took charge of the EFL Sky Bet League One game between Rochdale & Northampton Town at the Crown Oil Arena. The game finished 2-2 with three yellow cards shown.
Darren’s last game involving the Shakers was on Sat 4 March 2017 when he took charge of a 2-1 defeat against Gillingham at Gigg Lane, with four yellow cards shown during the game.
Quick Betting Tip: Bury are 9/4 to win the game whilst Oldham Athletic are 23/20. A draw is on offer at 5/2
Top Ten Tips for the game:
- Bury to win 1-0, 2-0 or 3-0 – 9/4
- Jermaine Beckford first goal of the game and a 1-0 Bury win – 30/1
- Michael Smith first goal of the game and a 2-1 Bury win – 50/1
- Bury to win by exactly two goals – 10/1
- Bury to win and both teams to score – 9/2
- Correct score only – Oldham Athletic 1 Bury 2 10/1
- First goal – Jermaine Beckford – 9/2
- Last goal – Chris Maguire – 15/2
- To score a hat-trick – Jermaine Beckford – 40/1
- To score in 90 minutes – Michael Smith – 9/4
Click here for plenty of markets available on tonight’s game
We’ve met before: Tuesday night’s game is the 46th such meeting between the two sides. Bury have won 15 games, whilst the Latics have won 13 games. The remaining 17 games have finished all square.
Of the previous 21 games at the Sportsdirect.com Park, Oldham have won 8, Bury have won 7 and the remaining 6 games have finished as draws.
The first meeting between the two sides took place on Sat 17th December 1910, a 2-2 draw at Gigg Lane, whilst the last game, at Boundary Park on Saturday 11th March 2017, finished 0-0.
Ticket News: Click here for ticket news for this game
SLO Info: SLO info, along with directions and estimated travelling time from Gigg Lane, for this game can be found under ‘Oldham Athletic’ here
First time visitor guide from Oldham Athletic: Click here