After three successive losses the Latics finally picked up three vital points in a 2-0 win over Walsall on Tuesday. Albeit, Walsall were also on a run of three losses and they were reduced to 10 men near the end of the first half. It was good to see Zak Emmerson came on to make his professional debut and in the process became the second-youngest player to play in the EFL at just 15 years and 73 days old. Reece Gaskell, another youngster, also made his professional debut in the match.
Dino Maamria was delighted and said, "This is football. Saturday, everyone thought it was the end of the world but tonight it's brilliant for us and I'm delighted for the fans because they stuck with us and they knew the process that we're going through and they backed up from start to finish. It's a fantastic night for the football club, not just the convincing win with a clean sheet, but we also had three debutants in the past two games. It's a brilliant day because you look at the 15 and 16-year-olds coming onto the pitch at the end of the game and, to work as hard as they did, they never looked out of place. It's a good thing for the football club so it's a good night for us."
"We started the game really well, We played nice and brightly in the opening 20-25 minutes. They got back into the game at the end of the half and the message at half-time was let's go on the front foot again and let's make sure for the first 15 minutes we put them under pressure and let's get our full-backs pushing on with the wide players. I thought in the middle of the park, Chris McCann was outstanding. With Christopher Missilou they controlled the middle of the park. As for the back four they pushed on and it was a very good second-half and I think the red card was obvious because he was going through one-on-one and he was going to score. We deserved that, and the players deserve that. We stuck together in a difficult period from the start of the season, but they stuck together as a group of players and you saw that it meant to a lot to them and to the fans as well."
"We're good with the ball without a shadow of doubt. The focus is always to try and be a tighter unit defensively and when we lose the ball try and get goal side, just organise them defensively. What helped is that it's a settled back four, the same back four that has played the last few games so hopefully that back four will get better and better. Like I said, I thought McCann and Missilou complemented each other really well and that helps as well, and I thought the wide players, Jonny Smith and Filipe Morais, were brilliant going forwards they were a constant threat. The front two did exactly what they're supposed to do because we knew where their weaknesses were in between their full-backs and centre-backs and the message was clear to get in between those spaces and they did that fantastic especially second-half and they earned their goals. It's a very good night for us like I said from the start so well done everyone."
"When you arrive at a football club you look at all the resources, look at what the first-team have got and look at what the academy has got and, as I said at my previous club, I think I gave five or six debuts in 18 months. We've got three debutants now and one is the youngest player in the clubs' history and he's a good lad as well and his dad is an Oldham fan. He will definitely play again and those boys will play again. They will stay with the first-team despite the injuries that we have, they will remain with the first-team and we're always together and we've got a game between the lads who didn't play with the Youth Team mixed together because we want to get them involved with the first-team because they're part of our future. I think that we have to take advantage of is tomorrow we'll come in and do a warm down and look after those boys. We've got Port Vale on Saturday and we know what they have got at home and we know that they've got a massive pitch. We've got to be physically and mentally ready and it's a positive night for us and we'll hopefully build on it."