The Latics confirmed relegation to League Two after a 2-2 draw at already relegated Northampton Town on Saturday. It was a lack lustre performance as they entered the game knowing that they just had to equal or better Rochale's performance on the day. Rochdale did the business with a 1-0 victory over Charlton so it was doubly disappointing to take for the Latics faithful, who had followed in their numbers.
Boss Richie Wellens said, I'm absolutely devastated. I honestly didn't think it would come to this. The club now needs to restructure the way that we recruit players. It's no good just looking at a piece of paper and and saying, 'He looks good we'll sign him.' We need characters. If you look at the players who are successful at this level, they might not have the best ability but they're characters and show heart. The majority of our players give everything every single day in training, but some let the group down and all in all that costs us.”
“We've made too many individual mistakes throughout the season and that's why we're in this position. It's 46 games over the season and the start we had was horrendous. We picked up one point in August and January during the two transfer windows, and that is what has cost us. I was proud of Tom Hamer and George Edmundson against Northampton. It's an 18-year-old centre-back and a 20-year-old centre-back and they showed heart and desire, and that's what the Oldham fans want. It's a shame that some of the others don't do that.”
Wellens was right in his summing up as some of the players are not just good enough. Several had given their all but it's a team game and passengers cannot be carried. If only the players had the same passion and desire that the fans have! It's now a case of rebuilding and hoping that the manager gets it right to push on for an immediate return to League One as many teams have continued on the downward spiral and have disappeared into almost anonymity. If next season starts right the fans will rally but an indifferent start will see gates diminish and support will disappear except for the few hardcore fans. Only time will tell!