STEPHEN Robinson told his players they let both themselves and him down after his final game in charge of OLDHAM ATHLETIC on Tuesday night.
Latics visited Mansfield in the third round of the Checkatrade Trophy and Robinson hoped that being three games from Wembley would inspire his side after struggling at the bottom of League One all season. Latics were also up against a team a division below them and they did make chances in the first half.
Ryan McLaughlin had a shot saved before the winger crossed for Ryan Flynn, who headed the ball down for Darius Osei, and although the former Stalybridge Celtic striker volleyed goalwards from 5 yards out, a Mansfield defender somehow managed to block it.
Brian Wilson then tested the home keeper and centre-half Peter Clarke sent a free header wide from a second-half corner, but Pat Hoban broke the deadlock with an 84th-minute header.
George Edmundson then spurned a chance to equalise before Hoban sealed a 2-0 victory, heading home again from a stoppage-time free-kick to make it one win in 12 for Oldham (inside 90 minutes). Robinson was then sacked on Thursday and immediately replaced by John Sheridan, who returned for his third spell as Latics boss.
Robinson said after the game: “The lads are despondent – and so they should be. After their performance in the second half, I’ve told a few of them to look in the mirror. Ultimately I’ll take the blame for it but people let themselves down. They let me down particularly as well, with their quality.
“It was a scrappy game and we lacked quality in the final third. We still created chances but if you don’t take them, you don’t win matches.”
Latics are making chances but are the lowest scorers in the Football League. And although Robinson signed most of these players after taking charge in the summer, he admitted he wanted to make changes to his squad in the transfer window.
That was difficult when the club was still under a transfer embargo over an unpaid tax bill and loan fees owed to other clubs. Robinson expected the embargo to be lifted by the end of this week but the Northern Irishman didn’t last till the end of the week himself.
Robinson had come under increasing pressure with Latics’ 0-0 draw at Port Vale on January 2 leaving them 10 league games without a win. Oldham are rock-bottom and last Saturday’s results left them three points from safety. This Saturday they host 17th-placed Gillingham, who sacked boss Justin Edinburgh last week, but Latics have scored just four in 11 league games at home this term.
Robinson added: “Every game now is massive, every game has been massive for the last two or three months, with the position that we’re in. We have to pick ourselves up and we need to sign players. I think it’s crying out for that, we can all see that, and we need players to score goals. Until we do that we’re not going to win matches.”