Oldham offering free entry as they aim to spark survival bid

MANAGER John Sheridan insists OLDHAM ATHLETIC will give their all to send a bumper crowd home happy when Latics host Peterborough United in League One on Tuesday night.

Sheridan has returned for a third spell as Oldham boss and they enjoyed a 1-0 home win over Gillingham in his first game back after replacing Stephen Robinson.

Although Latics then lost 1-0 at potential relegation rivals Shrewsbury on Saturday, the club wants to keep the feelgood factor going at home so are offering free entry to all fans on Tuesday night. For full details about how to get your ticket, click here.

A full house is therefore expected at SportsDirect.com Park as Oldham aim to bounce back from Saturday’s setback, which kept them in the bottom two.

Freddie Ladapo scored 3 goals in 22 games on loan with Latics this season before parent club Crystal Palace loaned him to Shrewsbury instead earlier this month. The striker had a first-half effort disallowed on Saturday before, just after the hour, Oldham’s Billy McKay hooked the ball wide from Aaron Amadi-Holloway’s knock-down.

But on 68 minutes, Aristote Nsiala helped on a Joe Riley corner for Ladapo to score with a looping header and make it 2 goals in 3 games for the Shrews.

“It was a scrappy game,” said Sheridan. “They probably shaded it, even though we had probably the best chance of the game with Billy. If he scored that it would have been a totally different game. I thought it was going to end up 0-0, but it wasn’t to be. We switched off at a set-piece, people made the wrong decision and it cost us.

“There has been a problem scoring goals and I can see why. I think we’ve just got to be a bit more positive in the opposition’s half, a bit more attack-minded. I want to install that in the players. If we have to get up the pitch quicker and miss the midfield out then so be it. We have to get up there, compete and retain the ball in the opposition’s half because it’s coming back too easily.”

Latics now host 8th-placed Peterborough, who suffered a shock 5-1 defeat at Bury last week before bouncing back with a 1-0 win at Swindon on Saturday.

Oldham then have another big home game this Saturday against Bradford, who are bound to bring plenty of their own fans over the Pennines, so Sheridan wants to ensure another bumper big home crowd to rival the Bantams’ travelling support.

“You’ve got to be looking to win every game at home,” said Sheridan, who steered Latics to safety during his second spell as boss during the second half of last term.

“When I came last season our home form was really good and we’ve got Saturday too so it’s a big 2 games coming up for us. We’ll try to get 6 points. I know it’s a big ask when you’re near the bottom of the league but hopefully that will change.

“And if we win on Tuesday then last Saturday’s result won’t look so bad, so we’re going to go all out for the 3 points. It should be a good game for us because Peterborough are a good footballing side. But we won my first game, our last game at home, so we’ll go into the game believing we can win it.”

Oldham average the third-lowest home gates in League One – between Bury and Rochdale – and Fleetwood are the only side whose highest home attendance is lower than Latics. A crowd of 4,394 watched Oldham’s 2-0 home defeat by Bristol Rovers in October but Latics are set to smash that against Peterborough – and Bradford on Saturday too.

Sheridan added: “Hopefully we’ll give the fans something to shout about and they’ll go home happy. If we can get a result it’ll be great leading into the next game. It’s gives them a chance to come see us play. Hopefully we can put on a good performance and it’ll make one or two of them come back.

“I know it’s difficult for fans when they come and they’re not seeing the team win or score goals. But I know that if we start winning a few games there’ll be more supporters here so that’s our aim, to get a few good results and get them back in.”

Right-back Cameron Dummigan was stretchered off on Saturday and is expected to be out for 6-8 weeks, but Sheridan has plenty of cover, in particular with the likes of Brian Wilson and Josh Law.

However, the Latics boss has admitted the team is unbalanced so said he is determined to bring in some left-footed players before the transfer window shuts.