John Sheridan Talks Ahead Of Tonight

Last updated : 30 January 2008 By Thetashkentterror
Oldham manager John Sheridan
Latics boss John Sheridan spoke to the Oldham Chronicle today about his side's match against Carlisle at Boundary Park this evening, Sheridan suggesting that his side are still able to make the play-off spots despite their awful home form :

"We've got to pick ourselves up quickly after what happened on Saturday because we can move into a decent position in the league. We'll need to improve certain things and go on a run if it's going to happen, but I honestly think we can push for a top-six spot.

"As disappointed as everyone was - and nobody more so than me - the cup game has gone now and we should learn from it and start looking forward. There are probably four or five teams who you expect to finish in the top six, but in this league somebody will come out of the pack.

"It's important we believe in ourselves and start winning games quickly, which would give us a chance to be the team who surprise people. It's something to go for, starting against Carlisle, and you only need three or four victories to make everything look different.

"They pick the same side week in, week out so we will have our work cut out but we have what it takes to bounce straight back. They are a strong, organised team who have a few experienced players, and they know how to play in this division. They'll come here knowing our home form is not the best, and when I look at our results at home I know we have to pick it up.

"I'm not daft, I know what we need to improve - our defensive record is automatic promotion, whereas our scoring record and home form are relegation material. I wouldn't say our performances at home are poor, but two wins is nowhere near good enough so I can see the frustration and disappointment.

"The players don't go into home games expecting not to win, or if they do I want to know about it because I'd rather leave them out. You look back at games and say we should have beaten Brighton, Doncaster, Luton and quite a few others - I've looked at everything, believe me, and I think it comes down to having a bit of bottle as much as anything.

"It's clear we need new players, especially up front and in midfield, but with a bit of luck I believe we can finish high up the table. I was absolutely gutted about the FA Cup game, but the priority now is to beat Carlisle, get the right result at Swansea on Saturday and make up for it in the league."

Eight-goal frontman Lee Hughes will return to action following his bus journey to the ground this evening after seeing out a one-match ban in Oldham's 1-0 FA Cup at home to Huddersfield at the weekend. Top scorer, and Welsh international winger, Craig Davies drops out with a similar ban though. In worse news for the Latics, defender Sean Gregan and striker Andy Liddell both miss out with achilles injuries, while defender John Thompson is sidelined with a knee problem.

In recent transfer window news for Oldham, boss John Sheridan has this afternoon snapped up Preston midfielder Jason Jarrett on loan for a month, Jarrett signing in time to make a probable Boundary Park debut against Carlisle tonight. Meanwhile, seemingly in return for Jarrett, the Latics look likley to accept a bid worth up to £500,000 from Preston North End for 20-year old defender Neal Trotman before Thursday night.

The referee for tonight's match is Premier League official Andy D'Urso from Billericay in Essex, and he will be assisted down the lines by Lee Metcalfe from Preston and Michael Naylor from Sheffield. Meanwhile the fourth official will be Andrew Smith from the West Yorkshire area.