Maamria on spying trip

Last updated : 08 November 2019 By The Chairman

Dino Maamria has been spying on Gateshead, where the Latics travel to play in the FA Cup on Sunday. He watched the easy 3-0 win over Curzon Ashton on Tuesday night. They have now won seven of their last eight home games so it won't be a stroll in the park for the Latics.

He commented, “I've watched their last couple of games and I went to watch them live just to get a feel for the stadium and the pitch. They're a good team, they play good football and they are not the typical, physical non-league team that you would expect. They are more of a footballing team. They've got energy, they've got some decent players and some experienced players. They are a good team. They're having a good season in the Conference North. One thing that we are guaranteed is they will play the game of their lives on Sunday. I will try and pick a team that will win. If I have to change one or two I will. Ideally I'm not someone who's going to change loads to the team. I will probably tweak one or two areas to improve them looking at the opposition and the circumstance of the FA Cup. So I've got certain decisions to make for the first time in a while but we're ready for it and we know what we are going to face. We know the players I have at my disposal and I'll make sure I pick a team to win on Sunday.”

“The televised game tells you it is a potential banana skin. Obviously, they looked at the fixture list and thought a football league club going to a non-league club two divisions below could potentially be a tough one. I've been there before where as a non-league club we look at those games and wait for it all season to get a team a division or two above you. Their players will be trying to prove they are better than our players and they are worthy of Football League careers. There is no question they will be playing the game of their lives. What we need to make sure is their game is not as good as our game on the day, so that's what we've got to prepare for. We've got to be professional. We've got to get the basics right and we've got to play our football. If we do that we'll win the game. I think if you give anyone a chance to impose themselves on you they will give you problems, so I think as long as we go there with confidence and self belief with the building blocks of what we've been doing for the past two to three weeks then I think we'll be fine.”

“We changed the week slightly. It's actually quite beneficial. I've got more time to work with the players to work on certain things. We've also changed the training time as well to match the kick-off time. We are travelling on the Saturday to make sure that we are ready on Sunday morning. It is what it is. We are looking forward to the test as we got a good draw overall. It could be a lot worse. I remember last season my first game was Plymouth away and you couldn't wish for anything worse than that. Ideally it would have been nice to have a home draw, we haven't got that, but one thing I know for sure is that our fans will support us in numbers. The club has got a history. Oldham Athletic is based on FA Cup runs really, even if you look back in the day to the Manchester United semi. So it's something huge for the football club and something that is huge for me. I've got to make sure that translates to our players to emphasise the importance of the FA Cup.”

“Chris Eagles came back last week and had a good game, his first full 90 minutes for a while. Egert is obviously still available after his recent suspension. Maouche came on last Saturday and I think he changed the game. He's back again from injury. So I've got one or two decisions to make this weekend. I'm looking forward to it. We're all looking forward to the game. It's exciting and it will be fantastic to make sure we are in the hat for the next round. Like I said, Oldham Athletic's history is based on FA Cup glory and we've got to make sure that's what this football club stands for moving forwards as well. We needed to create momentum, unity between us and the fans, and it's something that we're going to use really well to get the club moving forward together. I'm looking forward to having our fans, with numbers, at the weekend. I think it should be a good game, Gateshead are well-backed too so it should be a fantastic game of football and we're looking forward to it.”